TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - A Terre Haute couple accused of kidnapping a child are officially facing federal kidnapping charges.
The U.S. attorney's office announced Thursday that Nicholas Runyon and April Bell will both be tried for the kidnapping of 4-year-old John-Johnson Christian , of Terre Haute, in July.
The couple traveled across the county and lead police on a 72-hour search.
Joseph Hogsett, United States Attorney called the case unusual and rare, due to the severity the couple went through to conceal their and the child's identity.
Hogsett says the most unusual part is the letters that Runyon and Bell left behind for family and friends to find.
"Apparently the letters made reference, that their departure was motivated by the existence of a child that they shared together, that they had never told anyone about," said Hogsett.
Hogsett mentioned, in the letters the couple made reference to Jon-Jon as their child and that, that was their motive to take the child and planned on to never return.
If they are found guilty, Runyon and Bell could face a maximum of life-in-prison and $250 million fine.
The couple is also being charged with two counts of criminal confinement here in Vigo County.
Runyon and Bell are still in police custody. They are being held in Henderson, Kentucky.
Hogsett says a trial date has been set for January 12th.
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