Thursday, September 17, 2015

Kidnapping of Two Children

Daily Record Newspaper, Lawrenceville, Illinois, Thursday, May 11, 1939

FOUR YEAR HUNT FOR FATHER OF CHILDREN ENDS
Simultaneous Disappearance of Former Sumner Woman’s Mate and Two Children Resulted in Fatal Shooting of the Mother-in-Law By Mrs. Watters
            
         Another chapter was added to the life history of Mrs. Roberta Watters, 30, former Sumner resident, today, when the police of New York City, arrested Oliver Watters, 35, the woman’s husband on suspicion of being a fugitive from justice in Indiana.
            Mrs. Watters had been searching for her husband for four years and last night she ran up to a policeman on the streets of New York and told him that she had just seen her husband walking on Fourteenth Street.  The police of South Bend, Indiana, asked that he be held.
            Watters disappeared from home in South Bend four years ago, and Mrs. Watters returned to Sumner (Illinois), her home town, with the two children, Eugene, 9, and Gala, 5.  She returned to South Bend and left the children with her mother-in-law and again returned to Sumner for a time, and while away from South Bend, the children also disappeared.
            Following the disappearance of the children, the mother-in-law, Mrs. Martha Watters, was shot to death and Mrs. Roberta Watters was arrested and charged with murder.
            She allegedly said at the time that “I’m not sorry I shot her-she ruined a part of my live.” The report at that time was that Mrs. Roberta Watters accused the mother-in-law of assisting in the kidnap of the children, which had been given in her custody by a court in Waukegan, Illinois.
            She was cleared of the charge of murder when the case came up for trial in April of last year. (1938).
            Since that time she has been in search of her missing husband and children.
           Mrs. Watters is the foster daughter of Mich Ford, Route #1, Sumner.  She has been employed as a ship’s nurse, working out of New York. 

Ed Note:  Without the research of Kevin Borden, John King, and David Foote, and the transcription assistance of Joanne Ikeda, this blog would not be possible.  Thank you. )