Woman found with missing child appears in court

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — 32-year-old Melissa Theis watched in silence as attorneys debated whether she should stay out of jail on shoplifting charges.

It’s not the first time Theis has been in jail, and it’s not the first time she’s failed to comply with conditions of release. Judge Brett Loveless said her track record is not good.

“There were so many bench warrants I’m not even sure I can count them all,” Loveless said.

Theis is the woman found with 5-year-old Oreyanna Clinton earlier this week. Both were found on a bus shortly after police issued an Amber Alert for the girl, who somehow got separated from her father while trying to board a bus the day before.

A witness told KOB 4 Theis was with the 5-year-old at a bus stop when Theis asked him for money.

“I’m like, what you need the money for?” the witness said. “She was like, ‘I’m trying to sell something.’ And I asked her what, and she looked at the little girl. And I was like, ‘you gotta be kidding me, are you serious?’ That’s when I was like, I’m not letting this lady out of my sight.”

That man called police and the girl was rescued.

Theis was arrested for failing to comply with conditions of release on her shoplifting charge, but it’s still unclear if Theis will face charges connected to the Amber Alert.

Theis is scheduled for an evidentiary hearing a week from now.