CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — A missing child from Webster County has been located in Mexico City, Mexico, the U.S. Marshals in the Northern District of West Virginia said.
Josephine Craft, 6, was located Tuesday evening by the Marshals with assistance of Mexican authorities. After not being returned to her custodial parent from a scheduled visitation with her biological mother, Craft was reported missing on July 20.
According to the release from the Marshals office, Elizabeth Shirley Murray, the biological mother is alleged to have scheduled to return Craft to her custodial parent on July 19 but failed to do so stating she was unable to make the trip, and that she would return the child on the following day.
On the day Craft was reported missing, Murray could not be reached by phone and on July 24 an emergency protective order was issued, granting custody of Craft to her father. The release said a warrant was issued in Webster County for Murray on July 25, charging her with concealment of a child.
The U.S. Marshals Service was requested to assist in locating Craft on July 26.
Craft and Murray were located around 9 p.m. eastern time Tuesday at a hotel in Mexico City. The Marshals office said Craft is said to be in good condition and is being returned to the U.S. to her father based on the court order.
Murray will return to the U.S. to face criminal charges as she was expelled from Mexico due to having no legal right to remain in the country.
“A timely and successful investigation has led to the safe recovery of 6-year-old Josephine,” U.S. Marshal JC Raffety said in a release. “The cooperation of our Mexican Law Enforcement partners in this investigation was invaluable. I am fortunate to serve with Deputy US Marshals in the Northern District of West Virginia, who daily dedicate their lives to justice and the rule of law.”