Manhunt underway for man accused of kidnapping 13-year-old, her 22-day-old baby

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HELYAN, WV — A nationwide manhunt for a man accused of kidnapping a 13-year-old girl and her 22-day-old baby got new leads today when the suspect used one of his credit cards at a gas station and Dollar General store in West Virginia.

Police are searching for Christopher M. Derleth, 39. He’s wanted on aggravated kidnapping charges in the disappearance of Katherine Derleth, 13, and her infant son, Christopher R. Derleth. Katherine and her son are missing from Illinois.

An Amber Alert remains in effect for the two children.

Kanawha County dispatchers told WOWK-TV they received a report the suspect’s credit card had been used around 1:46 p.m. Friday. Deputies believe Derleth is equipped with tents, sleeping bags and other goods, and may be hiding out in a campground, national forest or a rural wooded area, that would allow for free or inexpensive primitive camping.

They are believed to be traveling in a 1996 Mercury Villager Van with Illinois license plate number E833210. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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