Darlington County, SC - DARLINGTON COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A judge has set bond at $10,000 each for two suspects connected to an abduction in Hartsville Wednesday that prompted authorities to issue a statewide AMBER Alert.
Johnathen Smith, 29, and Kimberly Steen, 25, were charged and booked into the Darlington County Detention Center Thursday after being arrested by authorities in Lee County.
Capt. Andy Locklair, spokesman for the Darlington County Sheriff's Office, said an anonymous tip led authorities to arrest Steen at a home on Berry Road in Bishopville Thursday morning. After eluding authorities at the address, a manhunt later led to the apprehension of Smith at 1 p.m.
Both Smith and Steen were wanted on kidnapping charges in connection to the disappearance of Justice Alexandra Deaja Peterson, 5, of Hartsville. Peterson's grandmother reported the child missing from her home at 2459 Sampit Dr. at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.
The grandmother claimed Peterson was taken by Steen, her biological mother. Steen, according to officials, did not have custodial rights of the 5-year-old.
"I woke up at 12 [and] I answered my phone. Her mom said if she didn't have the kid home by 7, she was going to call the police," Smith said. "But she already called the police because I woke up at 12. I didn't kidnap nobody. I just gave them a ride."
The conditions on which Peterson was abducted prompted the State Law Enforcement Division to issue a statewide AMBER Alert early Wednesday afternoon. Hours after the statewide alert, a relative of Smith dropped the 5-year-old off at the Lee County Sheriff's Office.