Son of man accused of kidnapping says dad acted out of anger

Two girls are back home after their father was accused of kidnapping them. (Photo source: WLOX News)
Two girls are back home after their father was accused of kidnapping them. (Photo source: WLOX News)

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - A Bay St. Louis man is behind bars in a Louisiana jail charged with kidnapping his two daughters. The Mississippi Bureau of Investigations issued an Amber Alert after two-year-old Ela Schneider and her seven-year-old sister Ava Boudreaux were taken from their grandmother's Bay St. Louis home Tuesday night.

They were found safe Wednesday morning. Their father 37-year-old Eli Schneider is under a court order to have no contact with the girls. Eli's 18-year-old son says his dad acted out of anger.

It was likely a happy homecoming, no one took time to close the doors on the DHS workers car that brought the young girls home, once they were found safe.

"They are fine, no bruises, no scratches, no harm done to them. They returned just like they left," said Ian Schneider, 18, is the older brother of Ava and Ela.

He and his grandmother have custody of the girls. Ian's father is behind bars charged with kidnapping his sisters.

Bay St. Louis Police Chief Mike DeNardo, said, "he's court ordered to stay away from the children. He went over there, picked the children up and took them across the state lines."

DeNardo says the children were taken to Slidell, Louisiana. Their grandmother did not know and called police.

The brother says he knew and actually went to Slidell and was in the hotel with his dad and the two girls.

"The kids went with him. It wasn't a forced thing. He just wanted to spend time with them. He spent about an hour and a half. Then at 9:30, I was taken over to Slidell to stay in the hotel with Ava and Ela for the remainder of the night. I stayed there from 9:30 until now since they just got home," Ian said.

Ian says he believes his dad wanted to spend time with the kids after he found out the biological mother of the two girls had gotten to see them over the weekend.

"We got their toys. He just wanted to spend time with them. I believe they brought Yahtzee. They might have played Yahtzee. He just wanted to spend some quality time with his children," explained Ian.

DeNardo said the children were first taken to a house in Slidell. Then he said Ely checked in and out of a couple of hotels before he was captured.

"He was caught on I-10 during a traffic stop by the Slidell Police Department. They found out where he was at and they set up a traffic stop. They used they're special weapons and the tactical team made the arrest without incident," explained DeNardo.

The chief said more arrests in this case are likely.

"Some people involved with this had no idea it was going on. They felt they were just assisting him with his children and some people knew it was going on," said DeNardo.

Ian now fears he and his grandmother will be stripped of custody of the girls.

"If they do leave this home, I'm not sure if they are or not, I don't have any hard feelings against my dad, other than he shouldn't have done that. That was wrong. He acted out of pure anger," said Ian.

The Bay St. Louis Police Department has started extradition procedures to have Schneider brought back to Mississippi. Police say he will be charged with two counts of kidnapping and two counts of interstate removal of a child.

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