Abducted children found; mother faces charges

 

Tekecha Milena Quinonce

 

By Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor

The Highlander

A biological, non-custodial mother who abducted her children from Bertram Elementary School faces felony charges in Burnet County after her May 22 arrest.

Tekecha Milena Quinonce, 29, turned herself into the Houston Police Department and is expected to be returned to Burnet County to face a charge of interfering with child custody, a state jail felony punishable by up to two years in a state jail if convicted.

Bertram Police Chief J.J. Wilson said a court order was in place forbidding Quinonce from taking custody of her three children — 9-year-old Taniya Chatman, 8-year-old Brock Chatman and 7-year-old Teanna Chatman.

“The biological mom showed up (Monday, May 21) at the Bertram Elementary School and grabbed her kids away from a school bus loading area (at about 4 p.m.),” Wilson said. “She fled the scene with the kids and drove out of Burnet County towards Houston. We tracked her phone and until she disappeared in Waller County.”

Working with the Burnet County Sheriff's Office, the Bertram Police Department placed an Amber Alert statewide as they attempted to locate Quinonce and the missing children, who had been seen getting into a black 2008 Pontiac G6.

“The suspect saw the billboard on her own Amber Alert as she drove through Houston,” Wilson said. “The Houston Police Department assisted in putting pressure on family members in order to get her to turn herself in. The suspect turned herself in to the Houston Police Department the next morning and the children were returned safe.”

The Amber Alert was discontinued about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 22. Wilson expressed his appreciation to Burnet Consolidated Independent School District, Burnet County Sheriff's Department, the Houston Police Department and others for working together to ensure a safe and successful recovery and return of the children.

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