2 suspects arrested, facing charges of child stealing

OKLAHOMA CITY - Two suspects are behind bars after two children reported missing were found safe Thursday evening.

Carey Johnson, 44, and Michael Coulter, 50, were booked into the Oklahoma County Jail on charges of child stealing.

An 11-year-old and her 10-month-old brother, who were under Johnson's custody and reported missing, were found with the suspects near I-40 and Choctaw Road around 11:40 p.m. Thursday.

Police said Johnson was a friend of the family who has had custody of the children for about one year. The children's biological mother turned the children over to Johnson; however, a police report released Friday stated "the biological mother found out about some domestic issues."

"There had been a pickup order issued by a judge, a written order, issued by a judge to pick these kids up and take them into DHS custody," said Sergeant Gary Knight. "There was a pick up order issued, and she (Johnson) decided to flee the state at that point."

Knight said Coulter is a convicted sex offender, which also raised "alarm flags."

"The male was also in possession of a firearm. He was booked on a complaint of that also," he said.

The report goes on to say Johnson told a DHS worker, "If I can't have the children, then she (biological mother) can’t either" but there were no actual specific threats to do harm to the kids.

An arrest warrant for Johnson states she sent the children's mother a text message on Wednesday, which read "I love these kids with all my heart and soul. I would die for them. I would do anything to keep them. And I'm going too. DHS had me messed up!!"

An Amber Alert was not issued on Thursday night. According to amberalert.gov, there are five criteria recommendations:

  • Law Enforcement Confirms an Abduction
  • Risk of Serious Bodily Injury or Death
  • Sufficient Descriptive Information
  • Age of Child
  • NCIC Data Entry

The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety told News 4 the two main reasons why an Amber Alert was not issued is because it was a domestic situation and because the only description of the vehicle they had was it was a black SUV.

"On our end, in this case, it did not hurt us because we were able to get that information out to the public anyway via the news media, via social media and we were able to get these kids back to protective custody very quickly," Knight said.

For more on Oklahoma's specific Amber Alert plan, click here.