Two Kidnapped Children Found Nearly One Year Later In Florida Supermarket

In February 2023, a routine vehicle tag check near a Winn-Dixie supermarket helped police locate the alleged kidnapper, 36-year-old Kristi Nicole Gilley, inside the store with the two children.

February 07, 2023
Kristi Nicole Gilley, pictured here with pink hair, was arrested on a warrant for kidnapping out of Clay County, Missouri.

In February 2023, a routine vehicle tag check near a Winn-Dixie supermarket helped police locate alleged kidnapper, 36-year-old Kristi Nicole Gilley, inside the store with the two children.

Photo by: High Springs Police Department

High Springs Police Department

On Feb. 1, 2023, after being missing for nearly a year, two children from Missouri were found at a Winn-Dixie supermarket in High Springs, Florida.

Brooke and Adrian Gilley were reported missing in March 2022. They were with their non-custodial mother Kristi Nicole Gilley; a parental kidnapping warrant had been filed against her on July 13.

Police had discovered the three were at the supermarket after a routine license plate tag check on Gilley’s vehicle revealed that she was a fugitive.

The children, who are 11 and 12 years old, hadn’t been to school since the abduction, and their mother kept them hidden by going to a series of Airbnb rentals in rural areas. She also disguised their identities and limited who they interacted with, according to what their father Blake Gilley, 38, told NBC News. He said, “Kristi would never tell them what town they were in or anything. If they were in a car, they had to keep their heads down. My son still does that."

One of the children is non-verbal with down syndrome, and both children were instructed to avoid speaking with people in public, Blake Gilley also explained. He said that he and Kristi had divorced in 2016, and she disappeared with the children before they could resolve an ongoing custody dispute.

Once the children were discovered at the grocery store, they were turned over to the Florida Department of Children and Families Services, and then they were reunited with their father on Friday, Feb. 3.

Kristi Nicole Gilley was arrested on an active kidnapping warrant out of Clay County, Missouri. PEOPLE reported that she remains in custody. She is listed as an inmate in the Alachua County jail in Florida.

Blake Gilley said the children were still in shock but that he was going to put them back in school and make sure they received counseling. He told NBC News that police deserve a lot of credit in finding the children and reuniting them with their father.

Next Up

Woman Kidnapped At Age 6 Reunited With Her Mother Almost 14 Years Later

Jacqueline Hernandez located her mom in Florida and reached out on social media.

New Age Enhanced Photo Released In 2011 Disappearance of 6-Year-Old Timmothy Pitzen

Investigators said his mother, 43-year-old Amy Pitzen, picked up her son from Greenman Elementary School and he was never seen again.

Child Who Went Missing From A Washington Mall In 2018 Found Safe In Mexico

8-year-old Aranza Maria Ochoa Lopez, who had been missing since 2018, was found alive and well in Mexico and returned to the United States.

Toddlers Orrin and Orson West Still Missing From California

Authorities say the brothers, ages 3 and 4 at the time they went missing, disappeared from their home in California City four days before Christmas 2020. If you know anything about their case, please call or text the "In Pursuit with John Walsh" hotline: 833-378-7783 (3-PURSUE)

Family Still Looking For Answers In 1965 Disappearance Of Elizabeth Gill

Authorities said a vehicle previously purchased in Lake Orion, Michigan is linked to this Cape Girardeau, Missouri mystery. If you have any information on this missing mystery, please contact the Cape Girardeau Police Department directly: 573-335-6621.

Iowa Father Still Searching For Answers 8 Years After Son’s Disappearance

Michael Workman’s son, Fredrick James Workman, disappeared at age 15 and may use the alias "Fred Shields."

True Crime News Roundup: Millionaire Robert Durst On Trial For Murder

A woman allegedly killed her newborn after delivering; the lawyer whose wife and son were murdered in June was shot in the head; and a toddler died after suspects police believe are students shot up his family’s home.

Virginia Woman Saved From Swamp As A Baby Reunites With Rescuer 35 Years Later

“I was especially emotional when she said she thought about me all the time,” Tameka Boone says.

Toddler Rescued And Reunited With Family After Abduction From Church, Additional Children Targeted

A little over 24 hours after the abduction, 2-year-old Noah Trout was located and reunited with his loved ones. Police say the suspects shaved the child’s head during the alleged kidnapping.

True Crime News Roundup: Woman Accused Of Killing Two State Troopers, Pedestrian In DUI Crash

Plus: N.C. man found dead on rural road; judge rules Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow to be tried together; Hillsong megachurch founder resigns; and Pamela Smart denied chance for reduced sentence.