Police departments across central Indiana are still searching for the man who prompted an Amber Alert in Prince’s Lakes last week. Police believe he is still in the area.
Prince’s Lakes Police have recommended charges against John R. Rader, 40, in both Johnson and Brown counties after he is believed to have taken his two sons from their grandparents’ house Jan. 2. Prosecutors in both counties will decide what, if any, charges Rader should face.
Police have been searching for Rader since then, and have gotten no new information, Prince’s Lakes Police Chief Greg Southers said. But they said they believe he is still in the area, and is likely staying with friends.
“We think he is here. He is laying low until the heat rolls off and then he will pop back up,” Southers said.
“He won’t be able to hide for a long time.”
Police said Rader stole a vehicle from his brother’s girlfriend and then drove to his parents’ house to get his sons, ages 10 and 6. He pushed the boys out of the home and into the car and drove away before the children’s grandmother could come outside and stop him, Southers said.
Family members said Rader had discussed taking the children to Texas, where he believed he could not be extradited back to Indiana, Southers said.
Police are not sure if Rader was serious about that plan, Southers said. But Rader took the boys to the home of a friend in Bean Blossom to exchange Christmas gifts with their mother, Christina F. Williams, 31, who was hiding from police since she had warrants for her arrest, Southers said.
Williams had been hiding for at least four months, and the warrants were the reason why the children were sent to live with their grandparents in Prince’s Lakes, Southers said.
Prince’s Lakes police decided to issue an Amber Alert for the children because they were unsure of Rader’s intentions, or what state he was in, since he has been arrested on drug charges in the past, Southers said.
Police tracked the location of a cellphone, and it led them to the home in Brown County. But when deputies knocked on the door, the resident, Kyle Lawson, 26, told police the children weren’t there, police said.
Deputies watched the home and saw another vehicle pull up and people going in and out of the home. Deputies stopped the vehicle after it left the home and found the two missing children inside, police said. The two adult women in the car had no idea the children were missing, and told police that Lawson had just asked them to come pick up the children and take them to their grandparents’ home in Prince’s Lakes, Southers said.
Police arrested Lawson on a charge of falsifying information and obstruction of justice. He was released from the Brown County jail on Jan. 3, jail officials said.
After the children were found, Brown County deputies and U.S. Marshals went back to the Bean Blossom home and found Williams, who was hiding, and arrested her on the outstanding warrants, Southers said.
The two boys were safe and reunited with their grandparents.
They were in good moods, had their Christmas presents and didn’t know anything was wrong, Southers said.
“These children have fallen into that hole that involves drug activity when their parents are involved in it,” Southers said.
Both Williams and Rader have criminal histories with multiple arrests.
Williams had warrants on charges of failure to appear and violating probation, and past convictions for possession of marijuana and possession of methamphetamine.
Rader has past convictions for battery, carrying a handgun after a felony conviction and possession of marijuana. Most recently, he was arrested in July on a conversion charge.
Prince’s Lakes police have reached out to other police departments to help find Rader, since they are a small department and don’t have the staff to dedicate to finding him, Southers said. They are also asking for criminal charges to be filed against him and a warrant to be issued, and then could ask the U.S. Marshals for help locating him.
Police are asking anyone who has information about Rader or sees him to contact their local police department, Southers said.