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Sirens & Gavels

Mom in ‘98 kidnapping due in Spokane soon

A woman accused of kidnapping her sons from her ex-husband 12 years ago is expected back in Spokane this week to face a felony charge after fighting extradition from Pennsylvania.

Jill D. Haugen, who also is known as Jill Connington, has been in a Pennsylvania jail since Dec. 29, when police arrested her on suspicion that she picked up her sons for a visit in 1998 but never returned them.

The boys, now 17 and 15, were living with Haugen in Milton, Pa., where she was going by the name Ann Thompson.

Spokane police are expected to travel to Pennsylvania this week to get Haugen, who faces one charge of child custodial interference, said Spokane County Deputy Prosecutor John Love. The felony carries a maximum penalty of about a year in jail. The boys were set to return to their father, William Connington of Spokane.

“The bigger picture is here’s a father who hadn’t seen his kids for 10 years, and thought he probably never would see his kids again,” Love said.

Haugen, 48, said as said that she is a victim of domestic violence and her sons are victims of sexual abuse. Police say there’s no merit to her claims. She faces a $25,000 bail in Spokane County, the same amount she’s been held on in Pennsylvania.

William Connington testified at an extradition hearing in Northumberland County on Friday, according to The Daily Item in Sunbury, Pa.

“She ran because she knew she was going to lose the kids. Not because of anything else,” he said, according to an article you can read here.


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