Abducted girl returned to her father
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE – Police returned 9-year-old Dyresha Williams to her father late Tuesday night nearly a week after she was taken by her mother.
Dyresha was surrendered to police by her mother, who took her from Al Tahoe Elementary School and fled to Reno.
Edwina Lee, 27, was arrested by the South Lake Tahoe Police and has been charged with child concealment. If convicted she could face up to three years in prison.
“The worst part was missing my parents because I can’t sleep without them,” Dyresha said with a grin.
Her father, Damon Williams, said he and his fiancee also had trouble sleeping while Dyresha was gone but since she has come home they haven’t been able to stop smiling.
“I am so happy that she is here and that she is all smiles and dimples,” Williams said. “While she was missing we had to hug each other so much just to be strong.”
FBI agents were able to contact Lee through friends, and convince her to return Dyresha to her father, Det. Donna Kingman said. Lee reluctantly agreed to bring her daughter to South Lake Tahoe, and at 10:20 p.m. she met police at the school where Dyresha was abducted.
Dyresha did not know who her mother was and said she was scared when Lee took her from her third-grade class. Lee hasn’t seen her daughter in three years, according to Williams.
Lee told Kingman that she wanted to develop a relationship with her daughter and took Dyresha on a bike ride and to the park over the weekend. She took her to a salon and braided her hair.
Williams said Dyresha’s return home was especially joyous after the murder of another 9-year-old South Lake Tahoe girl. Krystal Steadman disappeared Sunday from a Stateline apartment building where she and her mother were visiting a family friend. Her body was found at the side of U.S. Highway 50 the next morning.
“I am very grateful that she wasn’t hurt,” Williams said. “Dyresha used to play with (Steadman). They were friends and had the same babysitter.”
Barbara Davis, assistant superintendent of the Lake Tahoe Unified School District, said everyone needed some good news.
Williams is angry that the school let Lee take his daughter and thought he had made it clear that she could not pick Dyresha up from school.
However, Lee’s name was listed on Dyresha’s enrollment sheet and as far as the school was concerned she was allowed to see her daughter.
Davis is sure the school district did not do anything wrong but said, “these are the most difficult situations to deal with.”