A mother accused of kidnapping her daughters six years ago may be locked up in the Hertford County town of Winton, but that hasn't stopped her from speaking out. She gave WITN-7 an exclusive interview Monday. Joyce Linda Murray Steyne is accused of taking her two daughters and a son from her ex-husband's home in Ahoskie in December 1999. He had sole custody of the children at the time. The son was found later at a hotel in Roanoke Rapids. The two girls and Steyne simply vanished. They were finally found last week, after Steyne was pulled over by a state trooper in Lillington, North Carolina. Lillington is just about 170 miles from Ahoskie. Steyne told WITN-7 Monday, it's a sacrifice she felt she had to make to keep her children, Abby and Christy, safe. She says her brother, who is wanted by authorities and is still on the loose, helped her. Steyne's daughters were reunited with their father, Danny. He is a pastor now living in South Carolina and has chronicled his search for the girls online. We tried to contact him Monday, but were not able to get him on the phone.
Joyce Linda Murray Steyne's next court appearance is scheduled for February 14. The North Carolina Center for Missing Persons has these tips for those whose children are kidnapped. Follow up to make sure the child abduction has been entered into the F.B.I.'s National Crime Information Center. Request that law enforcement put out a look out bulletin, and ask for an organized search with the use of tracking dogs if possible. Also, do not touch or remove anything from your home or child's room until officers have collected evidence. Once you have notified the police, call us, the media. With news coverage and Amber Alerts, the media can get the information out to a wide audience.