A woman who is charged with abducting a pair of 17-month-old Apex twins has taken them to Canada, the FBI said late Thursday.
Allison Quets, 49, is wanted by federal authorities on criminal charges of international parental kidnapping. The FBI released a statement that said Quets had crossed the Canadian border Saturday with two children.
Quets gave birth to Tyler and Holly Needham but gave them up for adoption about a month after they were born, said her sister, Gail Quets. Allison Quets, who conceived the children through in-vitro fertilization, became severely ill during her pregnancy and worried about her ability to care for the children.
Denise and Kevin Needham, an Apex couple, adopted the twins after meeting Allison Quets through a mutual friend, Gail Quets said. Allison Quets was appealing the adoption and had been granted visitation rights pending a decision by a Florida court.
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The Needhams last saw their adopted children Friday when Quets picked them up from their Apex home. The couple planned on seeing their children again Sunday when Quets was scheduled to meet them at The Streets at Southpoint in Durham. The Needhams contacted Durham police a half-hour after Quets failed to show up.
But an alert about the missing children was not put out until 24 hours later, when the Apex Police Department got involved.
Quets works as a systems engineer with Lockheed Martin in Florida during the week and traveled to Durham on weekends to visit with Tyler and Holly, Gail Quets said. Police initially thought she might have been headed to Florida or Louisville, Ky., where Quets' mother and sister live.
Gail Quets said she hadn't spoken with her sister but did not think she would harm the children.
She also said Allison Quets was frustrated with the progress of her appeal.
"It was dragging on and dragging on and dragging on," Gail Quets said. The longer the appeal took, the more Allison Quets feared she wouldn't regain custody, her sister said.
Adoption matters generally are sealed in Florida. The Needhams have been advised by authorities not to talk publicly about the case.
FBI agents did not specify where they think Allison Quets and the two children crossed the Canada-U.S. border.
Warrants on the kidnapping charges were issued Wednesday from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, but they were not publicly disclosed until Thursday evening.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the FBI Legal Attache office in the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa and the Durham Police Department have been working on the case, according to the FBI statement.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Charlotte office of the FBI at (704) 377-9200.