2 in custody accused of abducting 5-year-old girl in Woodstock after missing-person alert

Girl, who is found and is safe, was taken after DCFS planned to take protective custody, court records allege

Jessica L. Walsh, 29, and Jeffrey S. Cook, 57, of the zero to 100 block of Grant Avenue, Lake in the Hills, were charged with child abduction on Tuesday, according to court records. Cook also was charged with obstructing justice.

Two people are charged with child abduction after an endangered missing person alert of a 5-year-old girl from Woodstock was issued Tuesday evening.

The child has been located and “she is safe,” Woodstock Deputy Chief of Police Ray Lanz said Wednesday morning in an email.

Jeffrey S. Cook, 57, and Jessica L. Walsh, 29, both of the 0-100 block of Grant Avenue in Lake in the Hills were charged with child abduction on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, according to court records. Cook also was charged with obstructing justice.

An endangered missing person alert was issued by the Woodstock Police Department and the Illinois State Police at 8:14 p.m. Tuesday saying the girl was last seen leaving a home around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at the 100 block of Newell Street in Woodstock with Walsh and Cook.

According to the criminal complaints against Cook and Walsh, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services issued a warrant to take protective custody of the child on Friday; DCFS went to Walsh’s Lake in the Hills address to notify her that an investigation is active and plan to take protective custody of the child. Walsh and Cook responded to DCFS Tuesday at the Woodstock address when they refused to allow the child to be interviewed alone by DCFS and then “fled the scene,” according to court records.

A police officer called Cook after he left the scene and “he refused to cooperate and acknowledge the existence of such warrant, and refused to provide the location of Walsh” and the child, according to court records.

Initial court appearances for Walsh and Cook are scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. A petition to deny a pretrial release for both Walsh and Cook were submitted by prosecutors.

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