Deputies: Virginia woman accused of abducting her children spotted in Lexington

Melody Bannister, Genevieve Bannister, Janelle Bannister, Vivienne Bannister, Peter Bannister

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Authorities in Virginia say four children who were abducted by their mother, and believed to be in danger, were spotted with her in Lexington.

Deputies say the investigation started in June when 34-year-old Melody Bannister, of Stafford, Virginia, told them the children – 13-year-old Genevieve Bannister, 12-year-old Janelle Bannister, 11-year-old Vivienne Bannister and 7-year-old Peter Bannister – were being abused by their father.

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Investigators say those accusations were unfounded and the father was given custody of the children. Then in August, investigators say Bannister took the children on a planned vacation but never returned.

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office in Virginia says Bannister and the children have been seen in several cities, including Lexington.

Investigators say recent developments in the case lead them to believe the children may now be in danger, but they did not say what those developments were.

Bannister is wanted for violation of a court order, abduction and filing a false police report.

Deputies urge people to call the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office with any information at (540) 658-4400 or call 911 if they see the family.