The US Marshals Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force, along with the assistance of the Bay St. Louis Police Department, recovered a missing child and arrested Arianne Stechmann, 37, and Johnathan Kritzman, 31, near 800 US -90 Bay St. Louis on Tuesday.
Stechmann and Kritzman are accused of taking their 2-year-old son from a hospital where the toddler was being treated for a suspected cocaine overdose. The child arrived at the hospital on Jan. 30th, 2023 after he was transported in an ambulance and later admitted to the Pediatric intensive care unit. The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (LA DCFS) was granted emergency custody of the toddler on February 2nd simultaneously as the child was taken from the hospital by Stechmann and Kritzman. Warrants were issued for Stechmann and Kritzman by St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office for Felony Obstructing Justice and the child was listed as a missing/endangered child.
On Saturday, the USMS New Orleans Task Force adopted the case and believed the couple fled to Hancock County to evade law enforcement in Louisiana. Today, US Marshals were canvasing the area and using additional resources when the white truck that the couple was believed to be traveling in was located at a local hotel in Bay St. Louis.
US Marshals made entry into the hotel room and took the couple into custody while recovering the child safely. The child was given to the custody of the LA DCFS, then transported to a hospital for a wellness check. Stechmann and Kritzman were transported to the Hancock County Jail pending their extradition back to Louisiana.
“This was a great law enforcement joint effort by the US Marshals, The St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Bay St. Louis Police Department, and the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services. There was an extensive search for this couple and missing child by everyone involved and it really shows what law enforcement is able to accomplish when multiple agencies put their resources together,” said Senior Inspector Jeremy Stilwell with the GCRFTF.
In 2006, the United States Marshals Service established the Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force. Full-time members of the GCRFTF consist of the: U.S. Marshals Service, The U.S. Border Patrol, Mississippi Department of Corrections, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Harrison County Sheriff’s Office, Forrest County Sheriff’s Office, Biloxi Police Department, Columbia Police Department and the Hattiesburg Police Department.