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Two Helena residents charged with felonies after MEPA case

Posted at 10:55 AM, Jan 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-16 12:55:52-05

HELENA – Two Helena residents have been charged with felonies following the safe recovery of two children police reported as Missing and Endangered last week.

Shala Hood, 31, and Lonny Kaufman, 44, appeared in Lewis and Clark County Justice Court on Monday.

Police issued a Missing and Endangered Persons Advisory (MEPA) on January 8 for Hood’s two children after a judge signed an order approving the children’s removal from the home by Child Protective Services.

According to court documents, detectives met with Kaufman in order to try and locate the children, but he denied knowing Hood’s or the children’s whereabouts.

On Saturday, police said they were tipped off that Hood and the children were at a Helena hotel.

When police arrived, they found Hood in a room, and Kaufman and the children in a car.

Shala Hood is charged with custodial interference. Her bail is set at $10,000.

Kaufman is charged with obstructing justice. His bail is set at $25,000.

(January 13, 2018) The two Helena children mentioned in Wednesday’s Missing and Endangered Persons Advisory were located in Helena on Sunday, according to a Facebook post from the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

Around 5 p.m. Sunday, officers responded to a call from the 2000 block of Prospect Avenue. Alex Gray Kaufman, 1 year and 8 months old, and Kristl Kaufman, 7 months old, were located inside of a vehicle on the scene.

The Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office wrote that a 30-year-old Helena resident– Shala Lynece Hood– was arrested following the incident on an outstanding felony warrant for custodial interference, along with fellow Helena resident Lonny Kaufman, charged with felony obstruction of justice and an outstanding misdemeanor warrant. Both were escorted to the Lewis and Clark County Jail.

Child and Protective Services has taken custody of both children.