Venice Lampkins reunited with family


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Updated: 5/18/2012 9:05 am Published: 5/17/2012 12:32 pm


A two-year old girl home safely with her family after her father reportedly stole her in south Tulsa.

US Marshals arrested Justin Lampkins, 31, in Wynnewood, OK on Thursday morning.

They found Venice Lampkins with him in an abandoned home with only running water.

He’s accused of snatching Venice from her mother’s car on May 6th near 61st and Peoria.

“When I first saw her I couldn’t stop hugging her and she just kept her arms around my neck,” said Venice’s mother Rhea Smith.

Her family picked her up at a hospital in Paul’s Valley around 3:00 pm Thursday.

“Her arms spread. If her arms would have been long enough they would have spread across Oklahoma,” said Venice’s grandfather Rick Smith. “The smile on her face and she started hollering, 'mamma, mamma.'”

This has been a moment the family has been praying for twelve days. The sound of Venice’s voice, her smile and the need to want mamma.

“We were on there day and night. Facebook, trying to get the word out, trying to get the word out, get people to put the word out,” said Rhea Smith.

Police said Venice didn’t show any signs of physical abuse, but was malnourished and dehydrated. Her family said it’s too early to tell how this has emotionally affected Venice.

“When I got there and saw her arms pop out I knew were going to be okay,” said Rick Smith.

Venice’s family pleaded for Lampkins to return Venice safely, but he didn’t. It was police who had to hunt him down. Now Venice’s family wants justice.

“I am glad he is in custody because now I don’t have to look over my shoulder everywhere I go," said Rhea Smith.

This isn’t the first time Lampkins has been accused of stealing his child. Records show in 2008, he kidnapped another of his children at knife point in Colorado.

“He spent his time in jail and he got away with it. Then it happened again. I want to make sure that this never happens to anyone again,” said Rhea Smith.

Rhea Smith filed a protective order last year. Smith said he’s violated it four times.

US Marshals also found Lampkins’ pregnant girlfriend, Carliss Harding, also hiding out in the abandoned home. She was arrested on fraud warrants in a separate case.

Lampkins is being held on $500,000 bond and is charged with child stealing.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

t town253 - 5/18/2012 10:12 AM
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I hope justice is served and he will never be able to do this again. How dare he put his own child in such an environment!! He had no care whatsoever for his precious lil girl. Pure selfishness. Thank God for His angels surrounding her!

t town253 - 5/18/2012 10:10 AM
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Thank you Jesus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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