Entertainment And News

Mom Of Missing 4-Year-Old Last Seen In 2020 Arrested After Cutting Off Concerned Family

Photo: Shelby County Sheriff's Office
Catherine McKinney, Dakota Kill, Serenity Ann McKinney

The mother of a missing 4-year-old has been arrested along with her boyfriend as the child remains missing.

Serenity Ann McKinney was reported missing last week by extended family members who were concerned after not seeing the child since December 27, 2020.

Serenity Ann McKinney’s mother, Catherine ‘Abby’ McKinney, was arrested on February 6.

According to jail records,  Catherine McKinney and her boyfriend, Dakota Hill, were booked into the Thomas County Sheriff's Office in Kolby, Kansas on Sunday.

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They are each charged with one count of Custodial Interference and are due to be extradited to Kentucky, where Serenity was reported missing.

Catherine McKinney allegedly ‘cut off’ family and kept them from Serenity.

Family members were concerned after a year of antisocial behavior from Serenity’s mother.

Hill and McKinney have reportedly not responded to concerned family members since summer 2021 and refused to cooperate with the investigation into her disappearance after she was reported missing.

Serenity’s grandmother confirmed that the child was not with them when the couple were arrested.

Serenity McKinney’s grandfather filed the missing persons report.

Brad Davis, Serenity’s grandfather, and her grandmother, Aundria Wainscott, each expressed hope that the child would be found safe but acknowledged that they were deeply concerned about the amount of time since they last heard from her.

"We just want her safe and we hope that she is," said Wainscott, "It would be amazing to have her home."

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Wainscott added that she did speak to Serenity over the phone a few weeks before Father's Day in 2021, but since then, there has been no contact.

The Shelby County Sheriff's Office fears Serenity McKinney is in danger.

Speaking prior to the arrest of Catherine McKinney and Hill, Capt. Blake Lisby raised concerns about the couple’s lack of cooperation with the investigation.

"Just based on the timeframe on how long it's been since she's been seen and nobody can seem to produce her whereabouts, it does lead us to believe she could possibly be in danger," he said.

"All just unknown factors at this point."

"[Catherine] has still not produced Serenity for us and has not cooperated with us up to this point in the investigation," Lisby added. "[Catherine’s] refusing to speak with us about the whereabouts of her daughter."

Serenity McKinney’s family have been conducting a search for her.

Serenity’s last location is unknown but her family have focused a search in the Shelby, Jefferson or Bullitt County areas, where they believe she could be.

A Facebook page has been sharing regular updates and urging people to come forward with information.

Serenity is described as a white 4-year-old with blond hair, blue eyes and a possible birthmark on her stomach.

Anyone with any information about where Serenity might be is asked to contact the Shelby County Sheriff's Office at 502-633-4324.

Serenity McKinney’s case has been compared to Harmony Montgomery.

7-year-old Harmony was reported missing in November 2021 by her non-custodial biological mother who has not seen her since 2019.

Harmony was living with her father, Adam Montgomery, and his then-wife, Kayla Montgomery. 

Both have been arrested but Harmony has still not been found. 

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Alice Kelly is a senior news and entertainment editor for YourTango. Based out of Brooklyn, New York, her work covers all things social justice, pop culture, and human interest. Keep up with her Twitter for more.