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Sheriff's Investigators Nab Fugitive with Fake Job Offer

Sheriff's Investigators Nab Fugitive with Fake Job Offer

Victoria Okegbola

Chicago Sun Times via YellowBrix

June 24, 2010

COOK COUNTY, IL – A Florida fugitive who had traveled around the world will be extradited on Wednesday after Cook County Sheriff’s fugitive investigators developed an elaborate plan to capture her.

Victoria Okegbola, 28, has been wanted in Broward County, Fla., since she left the country last summer. In May, Broward County officials notified Cook County investigators that Okegbola may be living in the area, a release from the sheriff’s office said. She was arrested June 4 in the 8500 block of South University Drive.

She has been wanted for allegedly fleeing Florida with her 1-1/2 year-old son while engaged in a custody dispute with the boy’s father, according to the release. In July 2009, in the midst of that dispute, the Nigerian native returned to her home country with her son to stay with family there.

The father had verbally agreed to the trip on the condition he would be able to contact and visit the child in Nigeria, according to the sheriff’s office. But once Okegbola arrived in Africa, the father was denied visitation. Okegbola then returned to the United States to pursue a nursing degree, leaving her son with relatives in Nigeria.

Her husband contacted Nigerian officials and the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria to confirm the boy’s well-being, but all attempts atmcontact were denied by her family. Finally, after numerous attempts, the Nigerian government completed a welfare check and confirmed the boy was in good health.

Florida officials continued pursuing charges of interference with custody.

In May, Cook County investigators learned Okegbola recently received a nursing degree from Chicago’s Samland Institute of Allied Health and Technology, the release said.

Investigators checked addresses where she claimed to live in Chicago, but were unable to find her. They then began placing calls to various numbers she had used while a student, until they located a current working number.

That’s when a sheriff’s investigator posed as an executive with a local nursing agency, indicating to Okegbola there would be a position open with the firm, the sheriff’s office said. Okegbola agreed to meet the officer at the South Side home where she was staying.

But instead of answering the door to someone delivering documents about a job, Okegbola was instead greeted by officers who arrested her without incident. Investigators found no evidence her child had recently been at the residence and she confirmed she has not seen her son since she left Nigeria.

Okegbola has been held in the Cook County Jail since her June 4 arrest. Florida officials are expected to arrive Wednesday to extradite her.

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