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Press Release

Steuben County Woman Sentenced for Kidnapping Woman and 6-Month Old Child

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of New York

Rochester, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Billie  Jo Ribble, 36, of Bath, NY, who was convicted of kidnapping a mother and her six-month old child and transporting them from Pennsylvania to New York, was sentenced to 20 years in prison by U.S. District Judge David G. Larimer.

“Today’s sentencing provides a fitting punishment for a defendant who jeopardized the lives of two kidnaping victims, including an infant,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “All law enforcement officers in two states who worked on this case are to be commended for bringing this to a rapid and successful conclusion.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Brett A. Harvey, who handled the case, stated that the defendant abducted of a mother and her six month-old child in Pennsylvania on March 1, 2013. At that time, Ribble was wanted by the Steuben County Sheriff's Office on charges of Burglary in the First Degree and Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, in relation to a residential burglary that occurred in October 2012. On March 1, 2013, investigators from the Steuben County Sheriff's Office and Pennsylvania State Police located and arrested Ribble in Mansfield, Pennsylvania. After being remanded to the Tioga County Jail in Pennsylvania, the defendant, who was pregnant, was taken to the hospital in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, for treatment in the maternity ward. While there, Ribble became violent, assaulted a Tioga County Corrections Officer who was assigned to guard her, and escaped the hospital by jumping out a third-story window.

Later on March 1, 2013, a woman and her six month-old daughter were asleep in the basement bedroom of a residence in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania. At 11:30 p.m., the woman was awakened by Ribble, who was standing over her daughter's crib holding a large butcher's knife. The defendant picked up the child, while still holding the knife, and threatened to kill the woman, her child, and herself if the woman did not take Ribble where she wanted to go. Thereafter, the woman got into the driver's seat of her car and the defendant got into the front passenger seat, still holding the woman's daughter and the butcher's knife. At the direction of Ribble, the woman drove from Pennsylvania to an exit off Route 15 in Lindley, New York, where the defendant was dropped off. The woman then drove to a gas station in Pennsylvania and called the police.

After urgent investigation by the Steuben County Sheriff's Office and the New York State Police, Ribble was located at her boyfriend's residence in Corning, NY.  Ribble initially barricaded herself in the attic, but eventually surrendered to authorities without incident.

The sentencing is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Steuben County Sheriff's Office, under the direction of Sheriff David Cole, the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Scott Crosier, the Pennsylvania State Police, under the direction of Commissioner Frank Noonan, and the Wellsboro (Pennsylvania) Police Department, under the direction of Chief Jim Bodine.
Updated November 19, 2014