LIBERTY, Mo. — Two girls who were reported missing by a Liberty man after his ex-wife did not return his daughter from a weekend visitation have been located along the Texas-Mexico border, the father of one of the girls told FOX 4 News on Tuesday night.
Maggie Deigh, 42, and her daughters Bethany Bednar, 16, and Riley Reed, 4, had not been seen since the morning of Saturday, December 8th. Riley Reed’s father, Don Reed, says that his ex-wife was supposed to return his daughter from a weekend visitation on December 9th.
Riley Reed and Bethany Bednar were picked-up by authorities along the Texas-Mexico border, apparently on their way across the border, said Dan Bednar, father of Bethany Bednar.
According to Dan Bednar, Deigh was arrested and is being held in Star County, Texas. The girls are now in the custody of Texas child welfare officials.
Deigh faces two charges in Clay County; one felony count of parental interference and one misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child.
Both Dan Bednar and Don Reed are en route to Texas to pick up their daughters.
On Monday, Don Reed told FOX 4 that he was concerned for his daughter’s safety.
“My honest concern is that the children are in danger, both Bethany and Riley,” said Reed.
A Clay County court order shows Reed has primary custody, but he complains Liberty Police didn’t want to get involved at first – telling him they considered the disappearance a parental custody dispute and a civil matter.
“I’m very frustrated with police…..they told me all they could do was file an interference with custody form,” said Reed. He says that the very next day – Monday, December 10th – Liberty Police told him, “They don’t take interference with custody forms because the prosecutor has told them they don’t prosecute them.”
At that point Reed filed a missing person’s report but Liberty Police admit they didn’t upgrade the disappearance to a missing person’s case until Friday, December 14th, and Reed believes that’s only because, “my niece and a bunch of friends from Facebook literally deluged the mayor and the police station with phone calls.”
A Liberty Police spokesman on Monday told FOX 4 that investigators are actively searching for Maggie Deigh but says police have discretion about enforcing custody court orders and must believe the children are in imminent danger before they deciding if they will remove the girls from their mother’s care.
On Monday, Don Reed obtained a temporary restraining order against Deigh. His attorney believes that will force police to give his daughter back to him, if and when police find her.
Deigh’s relatives told investigators they don’t know where she is. Reed went to Deigh’s workplace Monday night December 17th, only to discover she quit her job on December 7th.