DETROIT – Detroit police said they pulled over a woman for running a red light and discovered she had four kidnapped children in her car.
Officials said they pulled over Stephanie Marie Binder, 37, of Detroit, around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday (Nov. 30) in the area of Grand River and Evergreen avenues for running a red light.
When officers approached the passenger side of the van, they saw four children in the back seat: an 11-year-old boy, an 8-year-old girl, a 7-year-old girl and a 5-year-old boy, according to authorities.
“Once the officers stopped, they see that there are children in the back crying,” a prosecutor said. “They ask Ms. Binder, ‘Are these your children?’ and she says yes. They are not her children. The officers, due to the emotions of the children in the back -- they ask if they know this woman, and the children shake their heads. At this point, Ms. Binder is detained.
“Had the officers not pulled them over, who knows where these children would be?”
Police said Binder was driving a stolen van when she kidnapped all four children as they were walking to school. She is not related to the children, officials said.
“There were four children walking to school,” a prosecutor said. “Ms. Binder approached in a stolen van that she admittedly stole and lured the children into her van and drove away with the children, telling them she was taking them to school.
“The youngest child got into the van, at which time the oldest child, who is 11, tried to grab his brother back, but Ms. Binder got out of the car and pushed them toward her van, telling them to get in.”
Binder admitted that she had never met the children before and had no authority to pick them up, prosecutors said.
Binder is charged with four counts of kidnapping -- child enticement, four counts of unlawful imprisonment, one count of unlawfully driving away of an automobile and one count of receiving and concealing a stolen motor vehicle.
She was arraigned Friday in 36th District Court and is being held on $5 million bond. She’s not allowed to have contact with the victims and must wear a GPS tether and remain on house arrest, if released.
A not guilty plea was entered on her behalf.
A probable cause conference is scheduled for Dec. 14, and a preliminary examination is scheduled for Dec. 21.
The prosecutor said Binder has a lengthy criminal history, including multiple retail frauds, multiple failure to appear warrants, a drug conviction, and she was discharged from parole in April after leaving the scene of a deadly crash in which she was at fault.
You can watch the full arraignment below.