Derek Spencer and his mother, Helen Barbara Gruning, are wanted for their alleged involvement in the kidnapping of Spencer's daughter, Kamelia Spencer, from Palmdale, California, in 1999.
On December 20, 1999, a social worker from the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) reported that Kamelia Spencer had allegedly been abducted by her father, Derek Spencer. Spencer did not have any custodial rights to Kamelia, and was only allowed scheduled monitored visits.
The social worker had transported Kamelia to Funland in Palmdale, California, for a monitored visit with her father. Around noon, the social worker noticed that the two were missing and believed that Spencer abducted Kamelia due to pending custody hearings.
On December 20, 1999, detectives from the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department (LASD) executed a search warrant at Spencer's address in Palmdale, California. His mother and another person also resided at the home. The residence was completely vacant of furniture, clothes, and food.
Spencer and Gruning were charged with taking a minor from a parent or guardian and state warrants were issued for their arrest on January 12, 2000, by the Los Angeles Superior Court in Los Angeles, California. Federal arrest warrants were issued on October 27, 2000, by the United States District Court, Central District of California, after Spencer and Gruning were charged with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.