VALORIE EVERSOLE - Daily Union Reporter
SHELBYVILLE, IL. —
A Stewardson woman appeared in Shelby County Court Monday morning to face charges on child abduction.
Sherry Coonce, 39, failed to return her daughters Desirae and Destiny Hewing Sunday, April 8, to their father Gerry Hewing of Sigel following a scheduled visitation.
An investigation was begun by area sheriff’s departments, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the U.S. Marshalls, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the Illinois State Police.
On Saturday a tip led Cumberland Sheriff’s deputies to Coonce who surrendered without incident. The girls were unharmed and returned to their father.
"The family is very happy the girls were located and they are safe," said Shelby County Sheriff Michael Miller. "We are very appreciative of the sheriff's departments and all agencies who assisted in the investigation."
Coonce appeared before Judge James Roberts Monday morning where she heard the two counts of Child Abduction read. There was a n earlier court order of custody giving full custody of the children to their father.
Child Abduction is a Class 4 felony. If convicted, Coonce could face 1-3 years in the Department of Corrections, be fined up to $25,000 or be placed on probation.
Roberts noted that probable cause was found by Judge Kimberly Koester and bond was set at $15,000. She is also to have no contact with the children.
Roberts appointed Shelby County Public Defender Robert Swiney to represent Coonce. First appearance with counsel is set for April 23.
She remains in custody at the Shelby County Detention Center.