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Missing baby found during arrest of parents in Washington County

According to a probable cause statement, family services tried to take custody of the baby in January but her parents had already fled with her.
Credit: alex_schmidt_13 - stock.adobe.com

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Mo. — A baby who was reported missing last month by the Missouri Division of Family Services was found Friday with her biological parents in Washington County.

Philip Emily, 47, and Bobbie Stotler, 32, were taken into custody Friday at a rural home in the culmination of a nearly two-year investigation, the Washington County Sheriff's Office said. The missing 1-year-old girl was also found at the home.

Stotler was being held Friday on a felony charge of parental kidnapping, the sheriff's office said. Emily was being held on Washington County warrants for statutory sodomy of an 11-year-old girl and a parole violation, as well as a Jefferson County warrant for tampering.

Credit: KSDK
Booking photo of Philip Emily

According to a probable cause statement, the Department of Family Services (DFS) took legal custody of the baby on Jan. 9 after she tested positive for methamphetamine and her mother had a diluted urine sample. Stotler had left a domestic violence shelter with her daughter a few days earlier and had not been seen since, despite attempts by police and DFS workers to contact her by phone.

Stotler had contacted DFS on Thursday and told them she was upset that the baby was on a missing persons flyer, the probable cause statement said.

The baby is now in the custody of family services.

The sheriff's department did not provide any additional information on the two-year investigation that led to the arrests.

The Mineral Area Drug Task Force, United States Marshals Fugitive Apprehension Task Force, Washington County Sheriff's Office, Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, Potosi Police Department and Missouri State Highway Patrol participated in the arrests.

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