Teen says he fell asleep and didn't check on kids

Tuesday, September 19th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Tulsa-AP) -- An Afton teen accused of stealing a vehicle with two small children in it says he fell asleep and didn't go back to check on them after abandoning the car.

The comment was included in an affidavit filed in the case against Joe Ray Phelps Junior. The 19-year-old Phelps is charged with kidnapping, child endangerment and larceny of an automobile for allegedly stealing a Geo Track from a Tulsa gas station Tuesday.

A police detective says in the affidavit that Phelps and Bonnie Grubbs were looking for a vehicle to get back to Phelps' residence when they spotted the Tracker with the keys in the ignition.

The incident triggered the Amber Alert, which is designed to locate endangered children through quick notification to area broadcasters.

A poultry farmer found the vehicle 12 hours later in Ottawa County, with 19-month-old Monique Collette and six-month-old Demetri Collette unharmed inside.

Grubbs, who is Phelps' girlfriend, faces the same charges. According to the affidavit, she said the little girl waved to her as they left.