Elaine Yates
Harris County Sheriff’s Office via AP
placeholder
January 26, 2017 11:03 AM

Rhode Island is dropping charges against Elaine Yates, who was arrested earlier in January in Texas for allegedly abducting her two daughters in 1985 amid a custody battle with her husband, according to Click 2 Houston.

State Attorney General Peter Kilmartin announced Wednesday the charge was dropped due to “evidence that was not available or unknown to investigators prior to the discovery and apprehension of Ms. Yates, the laws in effect in 1988, when Ms. Yates left Rhode Island with her two daughters, and the fact that the well-being of the missing children has been established,” the Warwick Post reports.

Kilmartin added the charges were dropped “in the interest of justice.”

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

When Yates disappeared with her two daughters — Kelly and Kimberly Yates, who were then 3 years and 10 months old at the time — she did not break any Rhode Island laws. However, the law was changed in 1988, according to NBC News.

Yates, 69, was living near Houston under the alias Leina Waldberg, according to a statement from the Rhode Island State Police obtained by PEOPLE. Her adult daughters also live in the area under different names and have families of their own.

Police will not release daughters’ new names, according to the statement.

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

Source: RI State Police/Twitter

According to the statement, a tip received two days before Christmas led them to Yates who “confirmed her true identity” when she was arrested.

The sisters’ father, Russell Yates, could not be reached for comment.

Pick up PEOPLE’s special edition True Crime Stories: Cases That Shocked America, on sale now, for the latest on Casey Anthony, JonBenét Ramsey and more.

He told The Providence Journal in 1988 that his wife learned he’d been unfaithful. He also admitted to the outlet that he punched her while they argued.

Kelly and Kimberly were reported missing on Aug. 26, 1985. An arrest warrant was issued three years later for Elaine Yates.

You May Like

EDIT POST