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Step-grandfather, grandmother charged after two Tekamah children found in Kansas

 Tanner Leichleiter
Tanner Leichleiter (WOWT)
Published: Apr. 20, 2020 at 8:32 AM CDT
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The Nebraska State Patrol canceled the

issued Monday morning for two children reportedly abducted from Tekamah.

The cancellation came about 2 1/2 hours after it was issued, with NSP reporting the children had been safely recovered in Wichita, Kansas.

Tekamah Police Chief Dan Jacobs said Tanner Joel Leichleiter, 30, is accused of taking the boys and is their step-grandfather.

Authorities tell Channel 6 News, it was an apparent attempt to teach the boys' mother a lesson, that she was a bad parent.

Leichleiter was caught and arrested by Wichita police after a pursuit, authorities said. Both boys were found safe in Leichleiter's car.

While the grandmother allegedly kept the boys' mother inside against her will, Leichleiter took the boys. The mother eventually escaped and contacted police.

Sedgwick County Sheriff's deputies caught up with the car from the alert near 71st Street South and Ridge Road in southwest Sedgwick County.

Deputies said they got a 911 call that someone spotted the vehicle after the man in the car stopped and asked for directions.

Sheriff's Office Sgt. Justin Crafton said, "The kids were taken. They appear to be in good shape, good shape physically and mentally and they're all being interviewed right now."

"The fact that so many people were able to get the information so fast. It's hard to believe how well it worked," Crafton added.

The alert was issued around 8:10 a.m. Monday, indicating two boys, ages 4 and 7, had been abducted and were believed to be in danger, according to the Tekamah Police Department.

The public was asked to watch out for a white 2009 Ford Expedition with Nebraska plate 31-F325. The Nebraska State Patrol stated the vehicle may be in or traveling to Kansas.

The two boys will be reunited with their parents and Leichleiter is being held at the Sedgwick County Jail, according to the NSP.

Member station KWCH contributed to this report.