Charges filed against step-father in case of missing IL teen and infant baby, police say

EDWARDSVILLE, Illinois — A 13-year-old who has been reported missing, along with her two-week old son, is considered endangered, according to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office.

Katherine Derleth. Image from the Madison County Sheriff's Department

Katherine Derleth. Image from the Madison County Sheriff’s Department

The teen, Katherine E. Derleth, was last seen at a guardian’s home in Edwardsville on Sunday morning, September 18, 2016, police said.  Edwardsville is on southwestern Illinois, just northeast of St. Louis.

Katherine is described as standing 4-feet, 8-inches tall, weighing 95 pounds, with shoulder-length brown hair, brown eyes, and a pale complexion.  She also has three birth marks on her right knee.  Her son, Christopher Ray Derleth, has brown hair, dark eyes, and weighs a little over nine pounds.

Christopher M. Derleth. Image from the Madison County Sheriff's Department

Christopher M. Derleth. Image from the Madison County Sheriff’s Department

Authorities say that Katherine and her son may be with her step-father Christopher M. Derleth, age 39.  On their Facebook page, the sheriff’s office said that arrest warrants have been issued for him on charges of aggravated kidnapping and child abduction.

He is described by police as being 6-feet, 1-inch tall, weighing 160 pounds, and has brown or hazel eyes.  He is known to drive a green 1997 Mercury Villager Minivan with Illinois plates E833210.

“We are still actively searching for and need the public’s help in finding Katherine Derleth and her infant son,” read a post from Captain T. Mike Dixon.

The sheriff’s office said that Christopher M. Derleth is “an avid camper” and if Katherine is with him “they may be at a rural camp ground or low-end hotel/motel.”

State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons said authorities all over the country have been asked to assist, according to a report by Tribune Media.

“We believe they may be in West Virginia or somewhere along the way,” Gibbons said.

 Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s department at 618-692-4433.