Yesterday afternoon, I told you the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children was concerned for the wellbeing of a child taken by her parents. Early this week, they had been seen on surveillance video in Iowa. Thankfully, that child has been found and is safe.

According to a Facebook post from the Winneshiek County Sheriff's Office, dispatch received a call about the Ray family possibly being sighted at Walmart in Decorah on Thursday. Shortly after, authorities received another report of the vehicle the family was believed to be driving traveling north of the city. The Winneshiek County Sheriff's Office initiated a traffic stop and Jessica, William, and 2-year-old Dakota Ray were all inside. WHO reports Jessica and William did not have custody of Dakota.

Dakota's parents, Jessica and William Ray, were both arrested.

Winneshiek County
outstandWinneshiek County Sheriff's Office

44-year-old William Ray is charged with felony theft, operating a non-registered vehicle, no valid drivers license, failure to provide proof of financial liability, and 5th-degree theft. He also had an outstanding warrant in South Carolina. He remains in the Winneshiek County Jail, awaiting extradition to South Carolina.

36-year-old Jessica Ray was charged with 5th-degree theft.

Additional charges are pending as the investigation continues.

Dakota Ray is now in the care of the Department of Human Services. Great work by the public and authorities to get this child found SAFE!

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