Missing child case turns into suspected meth lab investigation

Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 6:41 PM EST
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LIBERTY CENTER, Ohio (WTVG) - A missing child case in Henry County has now turned into a suspected meth lab investigation.

8-year-old Elena Kalvitz is in safe custody after a Northern Ohio manhunt.

Investigators said she hadn’t showed up at school lately and wasn’t brought to Henry County Children’s Services on three different occasions.

Deputies went to the family home in Liberty Center and found a note left behind that said the parents, Gregory Kalvitz and Jessica Downing, were leaving to the other side of the state. There was also recent outburst by the couple in court.

“They actually chased the judge into the parking lot. The parents did,” said US Marshal Pete Elliott.

All three were found on the 3400 block of West 95th Street in Cleveland Friday afternoon. Things were quiet early Friday afternoon at their Liberty Center home before the child was found but things changed after.

Police then descended on the property. In a statement from US Marshals, not only were investigators worried about the child’s safety because of the court outburst, but because of a suspected meth lab they found inside that home.

“Turns out the dad is a long convicted felon with drugs, weapons violations, long history of violence and they ran with an 8-year-old girl,” said Elliott.

Kalvitz and Downing were both facing interference with custody charges from when the child left Henry County. No word yet on what additional charges might be coming down the way.

“I couldn’t agree more of the cooperation between the agencies involved and thank the Marshals for the swift action,” said Henry County Sheriff Michael Bodenbender. “I will sleep much better tonight, knowing the child is safe, and Greg Kalvitz and Jessica Downing are in custody. I would also like to thank Ohio BCI&I along with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office for their instrumental help with this case and investigation.”

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