A woman accused of abducting eight children from their foster homes in Arkansas was arrested Saturday in California, after a concerned citizen saw the woman and six of the children in a parking lot at 12:30 a.m. and requested a welfare check.
The caller said the woman was “displaying bizarre behavior” in the parking lot outside of a Mexican restaurant, according to a news release from California’s Anderson Police Department.
Officers responded and identified the woman as 36-year-old Trista Fullerton, who was wanted on a felony warrant related to the children’s disappearance. A white Dodge pickup truck with Arkansas plates was found nearby.
Officers say Trista Fullerton was linked to this white Dodge pickup truck with Arkansas plates.
Fullerton is the biological mother of the children, but she’s accused of kidnapping them from their foster placements after she lost her custodial rights.
Upon being taken into custody, Fullerton shared the location of the two children who weren’t in the parking lot, police said. The pair were located at a residence in Shasta County.
All eight of the children were released to Shasta County’s children and family services to be reunified with their guardians in Arkansas.
Fullerton, meanwhile, has been booked into the Shasta County Jail, police said.
Colleen Nick, the CEO of the Morgan Nick Foundation, an Arkansas nonprofit that supports the parents and families of missing children and adults, told Arkansas’ 40/29 News that the kids have undoubtedly been through a harrowing ordeal.
“It’s not a safe situation for the children,” Nick told the outlet. “Plus they’ve been taken very suddenly from everyone they know so everything has dramatically changed for them.”