Charges filed against Lake Geneva mother

Posted at 3:08 PM, May 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-24 19:31:01-04

The Lake Geneva mother who recently went missing with her three children is now facing criminal charges.

Michalene Melges faces three counts of interfering with child custody, three counts of contributing to truancy, and one count of disorderly conduct, court documents show.

Police tell TODAY'S TMJ4 Melges and her three children were found safe in Georgia Tuesday by the Savannah Police as well as the FBI. Before that, they were last seen leaving their Lake Geneva home on May 10th.

Coworkers say the successful realtor gave no signs that she might leave town unannounced with her three boys.

"We had no prior inclination that this could happen. So it was certainly a surprise to have this happen to somebody so close to us," said Steve Beers, Keefe Real Estate.

They left town May 9th. Early Tuesday, the FBI joined police in Savannah, Georgia, acting on a tip from a citizen, and located the four at a rental property.

"She has full custody, but he has visitation rights so when she didn't have the boys there for the visitation, that is what prompted our district attorney's office to seek an arrest warrant for interfering with child custody," said Lake Geneva Police Lt. Ed Gritzer.

Michalene Melges now faces numerous charges. Police tell us she's stopped cooperating. We know she rented a vehicle in Illinois which was dropped off days later in Texas. A letter included in the couple's divorce file also provides some insight, that this is a family in a state of change.

On April 18th, Walworth County received this letter in which it appears the family was planning to move out of state. It's signed by the parents and all three sons.  But, the part which says "Dad will come and visit us regularly" is crossed out and someone hand wrote over it, "Dad will live with us."

"Some of Michalene's family told us that, but without hearing from the boys' directly, we don't know if that's true, is indeed face or not. So we want to have the opportunity to speak to the boys as well," said Lt. Gritzer.

Police say Hans Melges is on his way down to Georgia to pick up his sons. After he filed paperwork in court Tuesday, he was granted temporary full-time placement of the boys until the next court date when he'll be asking to modify their current child custody arrangement.