PRINCE’S LAKES, Ind (WISH) — There is a twist in the case of a suspect at the center of the Amber Alert issued in Johnson County last week. Prosecutors say John Rader didn’t do anything criminal and therefore he doesn’t face criminal charges.
Prosecutors say when police issued the Amber Alert, Rader had custody of his two children, and was within his legal right to have them. But police say there are some serious safety concerns regarding their parents.
At Ed’s Trading Post in Nineveh, it seems everybody has been talking about the Amber Alert.
“It’s a bad thing. It’s bad that they don’t know where he’s at after taking the kids. It’s terrible,” said Jim Petro who is a regular at Ed’s.
Ben Neely is friends with Rader and said, “He might’ve been in trouble with the law a few times, but that shouldn’t be held against him just trying to be nice for his kids.”
At the Prince’s Lakes Police Department, Chief Greg Suthers has a different opinion.
“We did not know why John took the kids and just drove off. He gave no reason to anybody. So, yes, in my mind, my sergeant had every reason to believe that the children were in danger,” he said.
At the time of the Amber Alert, police believed the Department of Child Services had given custody to the kids’ grandparents and that Rader kidnapped them, stole a friend’s car and took off. They later located the kids in Brown County. That same night, police arrested their mom, Christina Williams on unrelated drug charges.
Suthers later learned that DCS had not revoked Rader’s parental rights and the stolen car case was dropped after the victim stopped communicating with police. Still, Suthers stands by his decision.
“He’s a convicted felon. The paper work shows you that,” Suthers continued, “Being with the complaints that we have received and the atmosphere and the people that he keeps company with, there was a reasonable fear that something could possibly happen.”
Back at Ed’s, locals have their opinions too.
“It’s like somebody didn’t want them taken them over to the person he was going to, and that’s their way of getting back at them,” said Neely.
Police have been called out to Rader’s house several times within the past few months. However, authorities have not arrested him or filed charges. Chief Suthers said two days after police issued the Amber Alert, DCS did revoke Rader’s parental rights.