Sisters accused of kidnapping adopted infant to return to Miss.

Published 3:21 pm Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Two sisters arrested in North Carolina and charged in the kidnapping of one’s 5-month old biological daughter from the infant’s adoptive parents waived extradition on Tuesday, authorities said.

The child’s biological mother, Jamie Kiefer, and her sister, Rikki Swann, signed documents during a court hearing allowing authorities to take the women back to Mississippi. They each face single counts of kidnapping and armed robbery in that state, said Phil Crane, the sheriff in Itawamba County, Miss.

Until they leave for Mississippi sometime in the next two weeks, the women will be held without bond, said Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Debbie Tanna.

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The sisters were arrested Sunday after police and military authorities raided an apartment at Fort Bragg, the massive Army base about an hour south of Raleigh. Police said the baby was taken at gunpoint a day earlier from the Mississippi home of her adoptive parents, Jennifer and Matt Erickson. The couple was reunited with their daughter, Madison, late Sunday.

Authorities said two women and an armed man wearing masks stormed into the Ericksons’ home Saturday in rural Itawamba County, near the Tennessee and Alabama lines. The group fled with the baby after using an electrical cord to tie up Jennifer Erickson, who later freed herself and called police.

Authorities believe two other people also were involved in the kidnapping.

“As of today, no additional arrests have been made, but we have made significant progress,” said Jason Pack, a special agent with the FBI in Jackson, Miss. “We don’t believe Ms. Swann participated in the actual abduction.”

Kiefer and Swann were found in North Carolina with Swann’s friend, Amanda Bell. She met Swann while both were living at Fort Bragg with their husbands, but Swann moved back to Mississippi when her husband deployed to Afghanistan.

Bell said Swann called her late Saturday night, asking for a place to stay, but she didn’t know Kiefer and Madison were in her home until authorities arrived at her apartment early Sunday morning. Bell isn’t accused of any wrongdoing.