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Parents accused of abducting three children in Killeen have been transported to the Bell County Jail

Posted at 6:55 AM, Feb 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-11 21:26:58-04

KILLEEN, TX — Jeffrey and Maria Gilseth, the biological parents accused of abducting their three sons, are now in the Bell County Jail.

The couple arrived early Monday morning from Topeka, Kansas, and were taken into custody.

Both are now being held in the Bell County Jail.

The couple was arrested in Topeka, Kansas, back in February.

According to the U.S. Marshal's Service, the couple was arrested on charges of interference with child custody and unlawful restraint.

The couple's vehicle was spotted in Riley County, Kansas, by the Fugitive Task Force and officers surveilled and followed the vehicle until it arrived at a safe place to coordinate the arrest.

Shortly before 1 p.m., the vehicle was blocked in by officers at the I-70 East Turnpike Toll Gate in Topeka, Kansas, and the couple was taken into custody without incident.

The three children were also recovered safely.

Jeffrey and Maria were booked into the Shawnee County Jail and are awaiting extradition.

The U.S. Marshal for Kansas made a statement on the arrests.

“This is another example of the daily coordination and cooperation between federal, state, and local law enforcement professionals who work to protect children in our society every day. Missing and Exploited children cases are among the duties and responsibilities of the US Marshals Service.”

In a Skype interview Tuesday night, the Gilseths spoke out to clear their name. They said the children were safe.

"At no point have I ever, have I ever been armed and dangerous. At no point have the kids ever been in harm and I just want to make that apparent," Jeffrey Gilseth said.

The McCulloch County Sheriff's Office said Hunter, 11, Dylan, 9, and Levi Gilseth, 4, were abducted by their biological parents in Killeen during a scheduled visitation on Thursday.

"You know, kind of already being upset as it was, we kind of made that decision to take the kids and protect them," Jeffrey Gilseth said. "I mean, we were back and forth on it, prior to going into our visit."

The Gilseths have not had custody of their kids since March of 2018 and the children were living with Maria Gilseth's adoptive parents. They said they originally took their children because they didn't believe they were safe in the care of their current legal guardians.

Officials said that the children were removed from their custody before the abduction because of a history of family violence.

The Gilseths said on Skype they are not in Texas but they plan on returning soon, hoping to be back in Killeen by Thursday.

"I would like to try and say they almost brainwashed them from the get-go," Gilseth said referring to the children's current guardians. "They have told Hunter that what I have taught them is stupid."

The Gilseths have contacted their lawyer, hoping that when they get back to Killeen they can have a "peaceful exchange" giving their kids to someone of their choice.

"I just don't want a whole slew of cop cars and sirens going off and then the kids are all freaked out and scared and traumatized," Jeffrey Gilseth said. "I don't them to leave us with that memory, I would like them to give us hugs and kisses."

Maria is charged with interfering with child custody. Her bond is set at $100,000. Jeffrey is charged with interfering with child custody and unlawful restraint. His bond is set at $100,000.