March 17, 2015
WAYNESBORO — Police extradited a Florida woman who married another woman in Waynesboro and then reportedly fled to the Sunshine State with three children that she had with another man, her legal husband, according to a press release.
Waynesboro police said Keyshana Rae Childress, 28, of Gainesville, Florida, is charged with bigamy, parental kidnapping and perjury.
Authorities said Childress’ husband, a 51-year-old Charlottesville man, called police and said his wife had married another woman and taken their three children, ages 3, 4 and 6, without his permission and against a child custody/visitation order to Florida.
The Waynesboro Police Department said the husband provided them with a marriage certificate from February 2008 through the Charlottesville Circuit Court that showed he was married to Childress. Police said a check through the Virginia Department of Health’s Division of Vital Records indicated there is no divorce record for Childress or her husband.
On Oct. 8, police said Childress and her partner, an unidentified 27-year-old Waynesboro woman, obtained a marriage license from Waynesboro Circuit Court. Childress previously resided in Waynesboro. Officers think that Childress falsified the application for the marriage license when she indicated, under oath, that she was not presently married at the time.
Waynesboro police said Childress eventually left Virginia to reside in Florida with her wife and three children. Florida is the original home of Childress’ wife.
In early January, Waynesboro police obtained five felony warrants for Childress. Through a family member, officers were able to determine a Florida address for Childress. Officers communicated with Gainesville authorities in early January and Childress was arrested. She was held at Alachua County Jail until extradited by the United States Marshals Service last week.
Childress is being held without bond at Middle River Regional Jail.
Asked if this was the first bigamy case of its kind in Virginia, Waynesboro Commonwealth’s Attorney David Ledbetter said it probably is, but the prosecutor quickly noted that the same-sex angle of the case is not the issue. “The essential issue … is the parental abduction,” he said.
Ledbetter also said the perjury charge is equally as important, as it helps protect the integrity of the city’s record keeping when those seeking a marriage license aren’t being entirely truthful to the city’s court clerks despite being placed under oath.
“The clerks cannot prove these things ahead of time … so we put them under oath,” he said.
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