Mother pleads not guilty to 1985 kidnapping

Elaine Yates

By: Kainani Stevens

WARWICK, R.I. – 31 years after her last sighting in the ocean state, the woman formerly known as Elaine Yates faced a judge in Kent County Superior Court on Wednesday.

The judge not allowing cameras in the courtroom, but audio recordings gave a peak into the proceedings.

“State your name for the record,” said the audio recording.

“Leina Waldberg,” said Yates, who was then asked “do you also go by Elaine Yates?”

“Yes I do,” she responded.

The defendant giving her alias name of Leina Waldberg when facing a judge early Wednesday morning.

Yates is accused of taking off with her two young daughters, Kimberly and Kelly, in the summer of 1985.

In 1988 a felony warrant was put out for her arrest.

“One count of child abduction before a court order.”// “She pleads not guilty.”

Magistrate John McBurney released Yates on personal recognizance.

Yates is allowed to return to her home in Texas, and isn’t required to return to Rhode Island unless summoned by the judge.

The felony charge carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison if Yates is convicted.

©WLNE-TV / ABC6 2017