Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
August 10, 2009
Susan Kang Schroeder
FORMER FUGITIVE MOTHER SENTENCED TO JAIL FOR ABDUCTING 5-YEAR-OLD SON IN 1983
SANTA ANA – A fugitive mother was sentenced today to six months in jail for abducting her 5-year-old son and hiding from law enforcement for 25 years. Margie Laverne Mansell, 52, formerly of Mission Viejo, pleaded guilty to the court on May 15, 2009, to one felony count of child abduction.
In May 1983, Mansell took her 5-year-old son and fled the State. Mansell was divorced from the child’s father, who had visitation rights with their son. She took her son from their Mission Viejo home and spent the next 25 years as a fugitive by moving from state to state, including Kansas and Tennessee, and taking refuge in churches. She changed her name and her son’s name several times to avoid being found. In 1990, Mansell learned that investigators had discovered she was living in Atlanta, and fled with her son before she was caught.
On May 7, 2008, an anonymous caller contacted the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and reported that Mansell and her now 30-year-old son were living in Ware County, Ga. The defendant was arrested on May 19, 2008, in Waycross, Ga., by the Ware County Sheriff’s Department and Investigators from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office Child Abduction Unit at a carpet and flooring business owned by her current husband. Mansell was living in Georgia under the name Christa Spiers.
Deputy District Attorney Jim Bacin of the Child Abduction Unit prosecuted this case.