AMBER Alert for Kaleya Ketter is cancelled after 4-year-old found safe

Posted at 6:22 PM, Apr 08, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-09 22:13:44-04

PETERSBURG, Va. -- The father accused of abducting his four-year-old Wednesday afternoon in Petersburg is scheduled to appear in court Thursday afternoon in Charlotte, NC.

An AMBER Alert was issued for Kaleya Ketter Wednesday afternoon after police said she was believed to be in "extreme danger." At 8:30 p.m. the alert was terminated after Virginia State Police said the girl had been located and found safe in North Carolina.

Dyeasha Tucker said Kaleya was "snatched" from her home just before 3 p.m.

"Before I knew it he opened the door and snatched the baby out," Dyeasha Tucker, Kaleya's mother,  recalled.

Tucker said the person responsible was Kaleya's father, Phillip Ketter.  However, she said that Ketter did not act alone.

"I noticed the car on the side," Tucker said.  "He passed my daughter off to the other gentleman."

Tucker said she fought with Ketter, trying to rescue her baby girl.

"I jumped across the porch and I fought him trying to get my baby," Tucker said.

She injured her ankle in the process.  Tucker said she got a good look as everything happened, and noticed two other men and a woman, who she described as the mother of Phillip Ketter's youngest child, also in he car.  And in a surprising twist -- the woman's own child was in the back seat.

 Kaleya Ketter


"You have a child of your own, and for your child to be there in the car?  If you want to play Bonnie and Clyde, you will take the ride," Tucker said.

Kaleya was found in Charlotte nearly six hours later when the girl's biological father turned himself in to authorities.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said a man saying he was Phillip Ketter called the department around 7:15 p.m.
WBTV reports that Ketter said that he had his daughter in a home on Highland Mist Lane.

WBTV reports that when officers arrived, they found Kaleya unharmed and took her into protective custody on an outstanding warrant from Virginia.

The young girl's grandmother, Kathy Brown, said that once the family learned Kaleya was safe they headed south to pick her up.

Brown has strong words for Phillip Ketter -- a man Brown once considered a son.

"Y'all not playing checkered boards, you're playing with those kids lives," Brown said.  "But I still love him, I don't have no hard grudge against him.  I have a mad streak against him because u don't take my granddaughter from her home.  You don't take her like that."

Brown also told reporter Jerrita Patterson that this is the third time Ketter has taken Kaleya without permission.

Officials said charges against those responsible are pending.

Ketter, who was arrested and booked in Charlotte, North Carolina, is scheduled to appear in court at 1 p.m. That's when he will find out if he will be extradited back to Petersburg.

An AMBER Alert was issued for an abducted Petersburg four-year-old on Wednesday who is believed to be in "extreme danger." At 8:30 p.m. the alert was terminated after Virginia State Police said the girl had been located and was safe.

Petersburg police said Kaleya Ketter was last seen at 603 St. Mark Street in Petersburg around 2:48 p.m. is believed to have been abducted.

Officials said Kaleya was likely abducted by 28-year-old Phillip Alexander Ketter and Love Shariff. Police said that Ketter assaulted the child's guardian.

Police said they may be traveling south on I-85 toward Charlotte, NC, in a black Nissan Altima.

If you have seen them or have information that could help investigators, please contact the Petersburg Police at 804-732-4222 or Virginia State Police at 800-822-4453.

 Phillip Alexander Ketter and Love Shariff

Phillip Alexander Ketter and Love Shariff