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Charleston Police Seek Man They Say Helped Take Kids

Reported: Jan. 29, 2014 1:31 PM EST
Updated: Jan. 29, 2014 2:04 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Jeff Morris) – Charleston police said a man who was prohibited from being around his children is being sought after he helped a woman take the kids and drive away.

Brandon Lee Lester, 26, of Charleston is being sought on a charge of concealment or removal of a minor child from a custodian or from a person entitled to visitation, according to a criminal complaint filed in Kanawha County Magistrate Court.

On Monday, Child Protective Services were at a residence in the 1400 block of Frame Street to perform a welfare check on three juveniles that were temporarily placed with their mother. The complaint said Child Protective Services entered the residence and found Lester hiding in the laundry room. The complaint said Lester is prohibited from being around the three children due to history of the domestic violence with the children’s mother.

The CPS worker said she determined that the children were in danger around Lester and decided to remove the kids from the mother’s residence and place them back into the care of the state, the complaint said. Lester picked up the children immediately and advised the CPS worker that he is not allowed to take them. The complaint said Lester pushed the CPS worker out of the way and exited the residence with the children. The CPS worker tried to stop him, but was held back by the children’s mother, the complaint said.

Lester handed the children to a woman, Cassandra Estep, who loaded the children into a vehicle. The CPS worker again tried to stop them from leaving and the children’s mother and Lester held her back, allowing Estep to drive away with the kids.

Police said all of the defendants fled the scene prior to officers arriving, and the children are still missing.

-- Charleston Police Department Photo



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