Seckman pleads guilty
Jessica L. Seckman, 27, of Alma, appeared before Chief Judge David W. Hummel, Jr. in Tyler County Circuit Court on April 2.
Ms. Seckman was indicted in February and charged with one felony count of concealment of a child from a person entitled to visitation.
Ms. Seckman entered a guilty plea to the indictment at the hearing.
Seckman and her husband, Joseph, were the subjects of a nationwide search in September and October of last year.
Troopers from the West Virginia State Police, led by Corporal B.E. Collins, led the efforts to find the suspects after they allegedly fled a DHHR investigation.
The two were arrested in Apache County, Arizona on October 14 and extradited to Tyler County. Ms. Seckman’s two children were also returned safely.
The Seckmans were arrested by Arizona State Police following a traffic stop in Flagstaf. Authorities found that Jessica Seckman was wanted for child concealment after she allegedly fled West Virginia with her two children in early September. She was under investigation by West Virginia Child Protective Services for alleged abuse and neglect at the time.
The two children were discovered missing after one of them did not show up for school.
The child’s father filed a criminal complaint in Tyler County Magistrate Court, alleging violation of a visitation agreement and concealment of a child. A second warrant was eventually issued for Joseph Seckman, charging him with aiding and abetting in the matter.
The children were found safe and were taken into the custody of Child Protective Services.
Both Jessica and Joseph Seckman were extradited back to Tyler County from Arizona. The children were released to the custody of a family member upon return from Arizona.
Judge Hummel set Ms. Seckman’s sentencing for April 19.
Tyler County Prosecuting Attorney D. Luke Furbee commented, “Thanks to the efforts of Corporal Collins and other professionals working behind the scenes, the kids were returned safely and we were able to pursue a successful prosecution of Ms. Seckman.”
Furbee also thanked the West Virginia State Police and Cpl. B.E. Collins for their investigation, which resulted in the children being found and returned safely.