Posted: Aug 12, 2010 8:05 PM by Alison Haynes
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - An Oregon woman has been arrested after a
12-year-old homeless girl was reported missing and returned safely
to her family hours later.
Clackamas County sheriff's deputies said Elisabeth Shambaugh was
reunited with her father and two siblings after a traffic stop
Wednesday night by Hood River County deputies. Christine Johnston,
31, was charged with custodial interference. She remained jailed
Thursday on $30,000 bail. It was unknown if she had an attorney.
The arrest was a relief to the girl's father, Kilunnun Chivoski,
who traveled from Tennessee to the Northwest with his three
children in hopes of finding work. "Twenty-four hours from now,
where would my daughter be?" he said Thursday afternoon.
Chivoski said he met Johnston, a panhandler, at an abandoned gas
station in Corvallis.
After the two became friends, Johnston suggested they head to
her grandparents' house in northeast Oregon, where Chivoski and the
children could get their clothes cleaned and have some good rest.
"From where we were at, that sounded wonderful," Chivoski
The pair agreed to caravan north toward Portland and then east
to Umatilla. Elisabeth rode in the woman's pickup, and Chivoski
drove 13-year-old Alex Shambaugh and 10-year-old Arianna Shambaugh.
But the woman drove past Chivoski during a planned stop south of
Portland, resulting in calls to police and hours of uncertainty for
the girl and her father.
Elisabeth said Thursday she was not scared during the trip. She
figured there had been a mix-up and didn't suspect anything was
really wrong until the woman told her to stay down when an officer
Detective Jim Strovink said the county is providing temporary
shelter for the family and the children will have medical
Chivoski said he plans to head toward Bellingham, Wash., where
someone has offered him a job cleaning horse stables.