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California in Brief | MISSION VIEJO

Mother is held in 1983 abduction

May 20, 2008|David Haldane

A woman was arrested in Georgia early Monday for allegedly abducting her now-30-year-old son from Orange County when he was 5 and spending the next 25 years eluding authorities by moving from state to state and taking refuge in churches.

Margie Laverne Mansell, 50, formerly of Mission Viejo, is accused of fleeing with the child in 1983 after being divorced from his father, who had visitation rights. When she learned in 1990 that investigators had discovered her whereabouts in Atlanta, Ga., Mansell allegedly changed her name and the boy's several times, becoming a fugitive in Kansas and Tennessee.

She was arrested at a carpet and flooring business owned by her current husband in Waycross, Ga., after an anonymous caller reported that she was living under the name of Christy Spiers with her now-adult son in Ware County.

Mansell faces extradition to Orange County where, if convicted, she could face up to three years in state prison.

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-- David Haldane

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