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P.O. Box 146
511 Aplin Avenue.
Perryville, AR 72126

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Houston man charged with Interference with cutody, two others charge with hindering apprehension

On Monday May 9, 2016 the Perry County Sheriff’s Office received a call from Lisa Belk of Perryville. Mrs. Belk told authorities that George “Artie” Lankford, (49 yrs old of Houston, AR) had picked her daughter up after school before she could get on the bus. Mrs. Belk stated that he then made contact with her and that she gave him permission to keep the child, but he had to have her home by 8:00 PM that evening.

Mrs. Belk stated that Lankford and she used to be married, but they are now divorced. Mrs. Belk stated that Lankford’s name is on the birth certificate, but he is not her daughter’s biological father and that he has no custody rights.

At 7:00 PM Lankford called Mrs. Belk and advised her that he was not bringing the daughter home. While Deputy Will Doughty was at Mrs. Belk’s taking the initial report, Lankford called back and Deputy Doughty spoke with him. Lankford told Deputy Doughty that he missed his daughter and he was tired of her being kept from him. Deputy Doughty told him that he understood but this was not the proper way to handle this, that he needed to handle it the legal way. Deputy Doughty advised him to let him get more information from the mom and he would call him back. Deputy Doughty called him back and advised Lankford that he had spoken to both him and Mrs. Belk and that he had no legal rights to the child. Deputy Doughty advised Lankford that if you don’t return the child you’ll be charged and at that time Lankford hung up the phone on Deputy Doughty.

On Tuesday May 10, 2016 throughout the morning investigators tried communicating with Lankford and the few times they spoke with him he would refuse to return the child to her mother. Numerous tries of pinging their cell phones would either be a vague location or negative contact upon arrival. After numerous attempts to resolve the situation with Mr. Lankford, investigators obtained an arrest warrant for Mr. Lankford for Interference with custody, a class C felony.

On May 11, 2016 at approximately 8:00 PM the Perry County Dispatch got the break they had been waiting for. Mr. Lankford’s phone pinged at #24 Bob’s Drive in Perryville, AR. Deputies, City of Perryville Police, Arkansas State Police responded to #24 Bob’s Drive and made contact with Jamie Flewellen, (42 yrs old) a resident of the home. Ms. Flewellen was advised that Mr. Lankford’s phone was pinging there and that they knew they were there. When Flewellen advised that they were there, entry was made and Lankford and his girlfriend Kathleen Smiley, (38 yrs old of Plumerville) were found with the daughter. Lankford, Smiley, and Flewellen were transported to the Perry County Detention Center and the 12 year old daughter of Mrs. Belk was transported to the Perry County Sheriff’s Office where DHS was notified per the state statue of Interference with Custody. DHS released the child back to her mother.

Lankford, Smiley, and Flewellen are being held in the Perry County Detention. Lankford, charged with Interference with custody, bond is $7500.00 cash or Pro, Smiley and Flewellen’s, both charged with Hindering Apprehension, their bond is $2500.00 cash or pro each.

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