Law enforcement seeking Lawrence man accused of abducting son from custodial parent
Douglas and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Offices are seeking the public’s help in catching a 40-year-old Lawrence man accused of abducting his minor son.
Officials believe Steven C. Drake Jr. is armed and dangerous, and illegally took his son, Andrew Drake, 12, of Oskaloosa, from his custodial mother, Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Herrig said.
Andrew was last seen Oct. 16. Herrig said it is thought that Andrew was coerced into running away with his non-custodial father.
That same day, Andrew’s mother, Shirley Morriss, was rear-ended and driven off the road on U.S. Highway 59 just north of U.S. Highway 24, Herrig said. Morriss said the driver was wearing a wig and mask, and believes Drake was behind the accident, according to the family’s “Please Help Find Andrew Drake” Facebook page.
Drake is wanted on a warrant out of Jefferson County for aggravated assault, aggravated interference with parental custody, contributing to the misconduct of a child and child endangerment, according to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
Typically, when a warrant is signed for a person, law enforcement does not disclose that information publicly. However, Herrig said the department is sharing the information because Drake “has made threats of violence,” is considered armed and dangerous and that a child is involved.
This is not the first time Drake has been accused of illegally taking one of his sons. In 2010, Steven Drake hid his then 13-year-old son, Stevie Drake, from Stevie’s mother for more than a week.
Drake was charged with felony aggravated interference with parental custody by concealing a child. However, Drake ended up pleading no contest to the lesser charge of misdemeanor interference with parental custody as part of a plea deal with prosecutors, according to Douglas County District Court records.
Drake has a substantial criminal history in Douglas and Jefferson counties stemming back to 2007 including domestic battery, harassment, reckless driving, assault, forgery and several attempt to elude police and theft convictions.
Drake is due in Douglas County District Court Nov. 9 for a jury trial on charges of battery of a law enforcement officer, fleeing or attempting to elude police custody, interference with law enforcement, battery, two counts criminal damage to property and reckless driving. Drake is accused in that case of leading a Kansas Highway Patrol trooper in a pursuit through Lawrence in August 2014.
Andrew is white with brown hair and eyes. He weighs approximately 110 pounds and is 4-foot-9.
Drake is described as white with brown hair and blue eyes. He is 5-foot-10 and weighs about 170 pounds.
Herrig said Drake sightings have been reported in Kansas, and that the search is “focusing on the Lawrence and Eudora area.”
To report a sighting of Drake or Andrew or to provide any information regarding their whereabouts, call 911 or 785-331-9870 to make an anonymous report.