Charges Pending in Alleged Parental Kidnapping at Rector

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Formal charges are pending against an area couple in an alleged parental kidnapping which occurred Wednesday, May 21, in Rector.

Jason Braman, 29, of Lafe and Michelle Braman, 34, of Rector are being held in jail in Cape Girardeau County, Mo., following their arrest in the incident. Also arrested was William Dale Thigpen, 26, of Rector.

The incident began when Belinda Banning of 511 East Fifth Street in Rector reported to local police that her grandsons, aged 12 and 10, had not arrived at school that morning. Rector police responded to the call at the Banning residence and were informed that a bed, children's clothes and food were missing.

Banning has legal custody of her grandsons.

Information was received that a white U-Haul truck had been seen earlier at the Banning residence. It was reported to be traveling east from Rector.

U-Haul was contacted and a description of the vehicle was provided. Jason Braman (father of the boys) had rented the vehicle.

The Clay County Sheriff's Office sent an alert with the names and description of the vehicle at the request of the Rector Police Department.

Within about two hours after the alert was issued, Cape Girardeau police stopped the vehicle near the 96-mile marker on Interstate 55.

Jason Braman was driving the vehicle with Michelle Braman (mother of the boys) as a passenger. Thigpen was in the back of the truck with the boys.

The boys were turned over to child welfare officials and later returned to their grandmother.

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