Los Angeles Sheriff's Department. Photo by John Schreiber.
Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. Photo by John Schreiber.

The cross-country hunt for a murdered mom’s half-sister and ex-con “friend” was underway Thursday as the pair was suspected of kidnapping the victim’s three children.

Those kids were found safe in New Mexico Wednesday, but Los Angeles Sheriff’s detectives worked to figure out what was behind the lengthy trail of possible crimes.

The three children of 26-year-old Kimberly Harvill, whose body was found two weeks ago were found safe Wednesday in a motel outside Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the care of a good Samaritan who notified local law enforcement, said Deputy Kimberly Alexander of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Information Bureau.

Their alleged kidnappers, Harvill’s 22-year-old sister, Brittany Humphrey, and her friend, 27-year-old Joshua Robertson, are wanted in the kidnapping and for questioning in connection to Harvill’s homicide, authorities said.

Harvill’s body was found Aug. 14 in some brush by a motorist traveling along Gorman Post Road, north of State Route 138. She had been shot in the upper body, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reported.

Alexander said the sheriff’s department will be coordinating their efforts with the Department of Children and Family Services to arrange for the safe return of Harvill’s children — Joslynn Watkins, 2, Brayden Watkins, 3, and Rylee Watkins, 5 — to California.

Investigators have learned that Robertson also has in his care a one-and- a-half-year-old girl unrelated to the other children, Alexander said. She was handed over to Robertson by her mother before she went to hail, according to broadcast reports.

Humphrey and Robertson “are still on the run and believed to be eastbound from Albuquerque toward neighboring states,” she said.

The suspects may have family in Nebraska, and have some ties to Kansas, Louisiana and Mississippi, Mendoza said.

Robertson and Humphrey are believed to be traveling in Harvill’s green 1999 Ford Expedition, which may bear California license plate number 7BEK024, or paper plates.

Robertson has a criminal history, is on post-release community supervision, and has a previous arrest for possession of a firearm, authorities said. He should be considered armed and dangerous and the public is advised to not approach the suspects if they are spotted but to notify law enforcement, according to the sheriff’s department.

Anyone with information about the case was asked to contact the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. To provide information anonymously, call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477) or access the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.

—City News Service

 

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