A desperate search is underway for a missing mother and her two young children who disappeared with her ex-Marine husband.
Police alerts have been issued after Derik and Laila Woodruff fled Mansfield, Ohio during a custody battle with Laila’s family and their 4 children, including Derik’s two sons from a previous relationship.
After warrants were issued for custody interference, the couple and children were discovered and arrested by North Dakota Highway Patrol Police.
Laila’s children were returned to their family in Ohio, but prosecutors did not press charges against the couple, and they disappeared again with Derik’s 10- and 7-year-old sons.
Valley City, North Dakota police told The Sun Thursday that they made an “attempt to locate the woman and two children” after a failed welfare check.
Laila’s sister, Amanda Harris, told The Sun that she hasn’t spoken to her sister since February.
“Laila has withdrawn from her entire family, her circle of friends and her support system,” Harris said.
“She also began keeping her children away from everyone she knew and spent significant time with in her life, including one of the children’s fathers.”
Laila surprisingly and suddenly married Derik, Harris said, and the 30-year-old “went from being a very happy and social woman and mother to a woman who distrusts everyone in her life.”
Valley City Police said they were probably out of their jurisdiction and no one could reach them by phone.
She also missed her court date in early July to determine custody of her children, further fueling fears she is in danger.
“There isn’t a world where Laila hasn’t appeared in court to fight for her children, at least not regular Laila,” Harris said.
“She was aware of the court dates. She has shared them with friends and family she has spoken to.”
She continued: “The last time anyone had contact with her was on July 5th. Your phone is now switched off with the voice mailbox full.
“I’m still calling and texting Laila and begging her to call me if she’s even alive. I tell her her niece is asking, ‘Where’s mom?'”
“I WILL FIND YOU”
Harris has a direct message for Laila.
“Laila, whether you like it or not, we’ll keep looking for you until we know you and Derik’s sons are safe,” she said.
“You are loved. You miss. And I won’t stop looking until I have answers to give your kids.
The boys’ mother – Asheley Morton – said she filed a missing persons report for her children in Mansfield, Ohio.
Derik is not allowed to take the children out of the country without notifying them, according to custody court documents.
She said the last time she saw her children was during a FaceTime call in April or May this year.
The Sun called and sent several emails to the Mansfield, Ohio police force seeking comment, but they went unanswered.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5932918/laila-woodruff-missing-police-alert/ Police alert over mum who disappeared with husband and 2 children as family reveal chilling reason she may be in danger