Virginia mom who fled with children sparking nationwide manhunt speaks out

Taking Action

(WRIC) — A Stafford mom who sparked a national manhunt and was captured several states away is expected to be extradited to Virginia sometime today.

Melody Bannister is telling 8News her side of the story of what happened on the day she disappeared with her four children.

Bannister told 8News she left Virginia after she reported that her kids were being sexually abused by a family member and his friends. The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office investigated the mother’s allegations and determined they were unfounded.

Speaking to 8News for the Hendricks County Jail in Indiana — Bannister said that’s when she decided it was too dangerous to return home with her children.

“My priority was to keep my kids safe,” Bannister told 8News.

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