On December 16, 1997, Elizabeth Ann Stratton fled her Antioch, California, home with her two non-custodial children. On December 19, 1997, a letter written by Stratton arrived at the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office stating that she had taken the children, left California, and did not want anyone to find her or the children. Stratton was in the middle of a child custody dispute with her ex-husband at the time.
Her vehicle was later found parked at the Sacramento International Airport in Sacramento, California. It is believed that Stratton may have made contact with a group in Atlanta, Georgia, which assists women and children who claim to need protection from abusive husbands and parents.
A local complaint and arrest warrant for Stratton were issued by the Municipal Court in December of 1997 and she was charged with parental kidnapping. A federal warrant for Stratton for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution was obtained in the Northern District of California on January 12, 1998.
Stratton's two children were both safely located in 2010. She remains a fugitive.