** Watch prior coverage in the player above. **
Elena Kalvitz was reported missing Wednesday, believed to have been taken by her father, 43-year-old Gregory Kalvitz, and mother, 32-year-old Jessica Lynn Dowling, who then fled to Cleveland, according to a Friday news release.
Elena had been recently ordered into the custody of Henry County Job and Family Services, but missed three separate meetings with the agency and had not been seen at school, according to the Ohio attorney general’s office. That’s when county authorities began investigating her disappearance. Warrants went out, charging them with interference of custody, the release states.
Henry County sheriff’s deputies visited the Kalvitz home and found no one home. A note left behind by her parents stated they were leaving to go to the other side of the state, according to the Ohio Attorney General’s office.
Authorities were concerned for the girl’s safety, following Gregory Kalvitz’ courtroom “outbursts” and the discovery of what is suspected to be a homemade methamphetamine lab in the family’s home, according to the Friday release.
Members of the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force found Elena along with her father and mother on Friday in the 3400 block of West 95th Street. The parents were booked into a Cleveland jail, according to Marshals. Elena is expected to be returned to the state’s custody in Henry County.
“I could not be prouder of the swift, diligent work of our team and local partners,” U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott is quoted in a news release. “This case is a prime example of why strong relationships with our local law enforcement agencies is so important. This young child was recovered safely and removed from a potentially dangerous situation because of it.”
Henry County Sheriff Michael Bodenbender added: “I couldn’t agree more of the cooperation between the agencies involved and thank the Marshals for the swift action. I will sleep much better tonight, knowing the child is safe, and Greg Kalvitz and Jessica Downing are in custody. I would also like to thank [the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation] along with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office for their instrumental help with this case and investigation.”