Two Teens In Custody For Abduction


Saturday, September 16th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


Two teenagers accused of kidnapping two children and stealing their mother's car are in the Tulsa County Jail.

Monique and Demetri Collette were abducted Tuesday evening from a Tulsa gas station.

A fisherman found them early Wednesday morning near Afton still inside the stolen car.

Thursday investigators arrested 19-year-old Joe Phelps, Junior and his girlfriend, 19-year-old Bonnie Grubbs. They were inside a house that is walking distance from where the car was found.

Friday afternoon prosecutors charged the teens with one count of auto theft, two counts of kidnapping, and two counts of child endangerment.

Tulsa County Sheriff's deputies picked up the pair from the Delaware County jail in Jay Friday night.

The 19-year-olds Joe Phelps and his girlfriend Bonnie Grubbs held their chins to their chest, trying to hide their faces from the glare of the cameras.

They were silent as reporters repeatedly asked them if they cared about the babies they're accused of leaving behind.

"They didn't realize at first the kids were in the vehicle. When they did, they didn't know exactly what to do," Sgt. Gary Stansill, Tulsa Police.

The break in the case came from an informant who called detective Mike Eason of the Ottawa County Sheriff's department.

“The informant advised me that Phelps was trapped in Tulsa without a ride," says Eason.

Police say that person saw Phelps back near his home at the same time as police were looking for the pink geo-tracker, and he wondered how he got there.

Investigators also say knowing Phelps had a criminal record helped crack the case.

"So of course, somebody’s background does go a long way in giving you a reason to believe they could be involved," says Mike Shambaugh, Delaware County Undersheriff.

Phelps record includes armed robbery and auto theft, when he was 17 for which he was sentenced to five years at the Rader Center.

He completed his G.E.D in custody, and was given a 10-day pass to stay at a Supervised living Center.

Court records show he missed a parole conference and work, and then in June failed a drug test and was recommended for transfer to the adult system to serve the remainder of his sentence.

In July an arrest warrant was issued, but Phelps was reported to be a runaway, and was not located until his arrest Wednesday.

Phelps girlfriend, Bonnie Grubbs, does not have a police record in Ottawa or Delaware Counties, and police are still checking the records in Tulsa to find out more about her background.