Deputies searching for great-grandmother, 72, in child abduction case

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Department is trying to find a 72-year-old woman and her 4-year-old great-grandson in a case they are investigating as a child abduction.

The parents of Marshall Alan Joseph, 4, reported him missing Friday night after the boy’s great-grandmother, Rose Mae Welker, of Grand Junction, called them to say Joseph was safe and with her, the Sheriff’s Department said.

Welker did not return Joseph to his father, James Joseph, as expected Friday night. Neither the boy nor his great-grandmother has been heard from since, the Sheriff’s Department said.

Although Marshall Joseph is believed to be safe, Sheriff’s Department investigators want to find the boy and speak to Welker about why she failed to bring him home.

A phone call and an anonymous e-mail to The Daily Sentinel on Saturday indicated Welker has reasons for keeping Joseph. But Welker does not have legal custody of her great-grandson, Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Heather Benjamin said.

Welker is described as a 5-foot-2 Caucasian woman with brown hair and hazel eyes. She is possibly driving a blue 2003 Buick LeSabre with Colorado license plate 685 CZT.

Joseph is white, 3-feet-tall and has brown hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information on their whereabouts is asked to call 911.

No warrant has been obtained for Welker’s arrest, but investigators are treating the case as an abduction, Benjamin said.


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