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Self-Proclaimed Missing Persons Expert Arrested in Arkansas

TIMES STAFF WRITER

June Ramsay Littlefield, the elusive, self-proclaimed missing persons expert who fled Santa Clarita to avoid forgery and theft charges, has been arrested in Arkansas, police said Tuesday.

Littlefield was scheduled to appear in Cleburne County (Ark.) Circuit Court today to tell authorities whether she will return to California voluntarily, but Arkansas law enforcement officials said Littlefield has let it be known she plans to resist extradition.

“Her attorney has already told me she will fight with every available resource,” said Cleburne County Deputy Dist. Atty. Tommy Smith.

Littlefield was arrested Friday afternoon in the rural community of Greers Ferry, about 80 miles north of Little Rock, as she and her husband, Chuck, checked their mail at a post office box inside a country store. She seemed surprised but said little and cooperated with the investigators who arrested her, said Cleburne County Sheriff’s Capt. Regan Scott.

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The 54-year-old secretary and bookkeeper claimed to have founded an international network that searched for missing people--Missing Persons International Inc.--and she impressed many audiences as a guest speaker, especially as an impassioned champion of missing children.

Littlefield disappeared sometime before May 29, when she failed to appear for the start of her trial in San Fernando Superior Court. She is charged with 17 counts of forgery and grand theft for taking an estimated $6,300 in altered checks from a former employer, a Santa Clarita painting contractor. She now faces an additional charge of fleeing while on bail, said Los Angeles County Deputy Dist. Atty. Kenneth Barshop.

If convicted of the felony theft charges, Littlefield faces a maximum of six years in state prison, Barshop said. She faces a maximum of three years in prison if convicted on the felony charge of jumping bail, he said.

Barshop and other Los Angeles County officials said they were concerned that Littlefield--who had been free on her own recognizance--might try to flee again because she was released from Cleburne County custody on $15,000 bail. But Barshop said there was little that Los Angeles County authorities could do about the bail amount because “each state has its own right to handle extradition matters in any way it so chooses.”

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If Littlefield does not return to Los Angeles County on her own, Barshop said, the district attorney’s office will file papers seeking her extradition.

Los Angeles County sheriff’s investigators traced Littlefield to Arkansas, where she has relatives. Arkansas authorities then confirmed that Littlefield was checking her mail every day between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Scott and a second investigator found her the first day of their stakeout.


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