, Muskogee, OK

Local News

March 20, 2014

Father charged with kidnapping

DA to seek city man’s return on charges

Kidnapping charges have been filed against a Muskogee man who authorities say removed his teenage son from a foster home.

James Powell, 48, is being held on $500,000 bond in the Huron County Jail in Michigan, a jail representative said Thursday.

Austin Powell, 16, who was living with Merinda Corbett, a cousin and his foster parent, was reportedly taken Saturday from Corbett’s home by James Powell, Austin Powell’s father. James Powell’s custodial rights were restricted to supervised visitation, authorities said.

Austin Powell returned to Muskogee on Wednesday. Rae Lea Spears, an investigator with the Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office, said representatives from the Department of Human Services picked Powell up in Bad Axe, Mich.  

When Austin Powell was reported missing, law enforcers said they were concerned about the boy’s health because he did not have the medication he needed.

Powell has received medical care and appears to be in good health.

“Everything’s good,” Spears said.

Austin Powell and James Powell were found by authorities in Bad Axe, Mich., Tuesday afternoon, and James Powell was arrested.

Muskogee County District Attorney Larry Moore said his office should know by this afternoon whether Powell will waive extradition. If he does, a representative with the Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office will travel to Michigan to pick him up within the next 10 days.

If James Powell fights extradition, the district attorney’s office will request a governor’s warrant to bring him to Muskogee County, Moore said. That process could take up to 90 days, he said.

The search for Austin Powell was conducted in several states and also included searches on the Internet, Spears said.

“The family gave us information on a friend of the father,” Spears said.

With that information, investigators searched the Internet for addresses and phone numbers. They contacted officials in two other municipalities in Michigan who helped in the search before officers in Bad Axe found the pair.

Reach Anita Reding at (918) 684-2903 or

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