Private investigator’s license suspended after baby abduction charges

Published: Mar. 15, 2021 at 4:06 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 15, 2021 at 5:15 PM EDT
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ONSLOW COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - A private investigator on Monday had her license suspended, four days after being charged with abducting an infant.

The state Department of Public Safety told WITN that the NC Private Protective Services Board took that action against Melanie Keene.

Onslow County deputies have charged Keene with felony abduction of children, felonious restraint, felony obstruction of justice, and resisting a public officer.

The 60-year-old Keene is a licensed private investigator from Leland and deputies say she took the infant from its grandmother who lives in Holly Ridge.

Deputies say a couple hired an attorney to help them in getting custody of the baby. In turn, that attorney hired Keene, according to a news release.

They say the private investigator took the infant under the pretext that an Ex-Parte Hearing for Temporary Emergency Custody was taking place on January 12th. Deputies say Keene told the couple to turn off their phones and not to speak to law enforcement, in an attempt to prevent the child from being returned to its mother.

Keene was arrested last Thursday in Brunswick County and deputies say additional arrests are possible as their investigation progresses.

The state said Keene’s license was suspended immediately, and that she can’t work as a private investigator until that suspension is lifted.

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