Mother appears in court in case of missing girl

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

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A Vancouver woman appeared in Clark County Superior Court Thursday in connection with the disappearance of her 4-year-old daughter Saturday after a confrontation with the girl’s father.

Kimberly A. Gibson, 41, faces charges of second-degree domestic violence assault, domestic violence unlawful imprisonment and first-degree custodial interference.

Judge Scott Collier held Gibson on suspicion of second-degree assault and set bail at $50,000. He did not find probable cause to hold her on suspicion of the other two charges because a court affidavit didn’t address the latter charges. Deputy Prosecutor Jeannie Bryant said the state plans to submit a supplemental court affidavit to support the charges of unlawful imprisonment and custodial interference.

Gibson is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges Aug. 7. Vancouver attorney Chris Ramsay was appointed to defend her.

Authorities issued a bulletin Wednesday seeking the public’s helping in finding Gibson’s 4-year-old daughter, Stormy Kennedy, who was listed as missing and possibly endangered.

She was found with Gibson in Kelso 4½ hours later.

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office said that Gibson, 41, intentionally hit her boyfriend, Joseph Kennedy, who also is Stormy’s father, with her vehicle on Saturday and fled the scene with the little girl inside the vehicle. Taking the daughter away from the father violated a court-ordered parenting plan, Bryant said Thursday.

Gibson’s van was later found unoccupied in a parking lot in Longview, but the whereabouts of Gibson and Stormy were unknown.

Later that day, someone who had seen the news coverage reported seeing a woman and child matching Gibson and Stormy’s description near a shelter in Kelso and called 911.

Police responded and located both Gibson and Stormy. Gibson was taken into custody on an outstanding warrant. Stormy was taken to the Kelso Police Department and reunited with her father. There were no reported injuries.

Gibson’s boyfriend of five years told deputies that Gibson had been arrested about a year ago for drug possession and went into treatment, according to a court affidavit. In February, Gibson moved back to their Hazel Dell home under an agreement that she would stay clean and sober.

On Saturday, Gibson’s boyfriend tried to stop her from driving away with their daughter after he confronted her about alcohol he’d found stashed in their house. Gibson accelerated, and her boyfriend bounced off the hood and was caught on the side mirror and dragged a short distance, according to court documents. Authorities noted large abrasions on his right knee, stomach and elbow.