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Mother of missing W.Va. girl arrested for third time

WHEELING, W.Va. -- The mother of a missing West Virginia girl was arrested by federal marshals Wednesday and sent back to jail after allegedly defying a judge's orders for the third time this summer, and prosecutors are moving to revoke her bond and keep her there.

Lena Lunsford was being held at the Northern Regional Jail without bail.

A month ago, after her second arrest in two weeks, Lunsford was warned to stay away from the convicted felon who fathered the baby she's now carrying. U.S. Magistrate James Seibert told Lunsford that she could be imprisoned and prosecuted for contempt of court if she continued to defy the conditions of her probation.

But U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld said in a motion Tuesday that Lunsford has continued to have contact with the man.

She began serving probation Feb. 26 and has six more months to go.

Lunsford served eight months for welfare fraud after her 3-year-old daughter Aliayah disappeared from their Lewis County home in September 2011. The child has not been found, and no one has been charged in her disappearance.

Lunsford's parental rights were terminated by the West Virginia courts, and her six other children are in state custody.

Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal Alex Neville said Lunsford is pregnant with her eighth child.

She met that child's father at a halfway house when she was released from prison.

Lunsford, who has denied involvement and any knowledge of what happened to Aliayah, has been living at a YWCA in Wheeling, attending school and working at a pizza shop.

Probation officials had planned to relocate her to the Clarksburg area after she missed classes and violated other conditions of her release, but relented when her treatment provider said that could have an adverse effect.


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