UPDATE (2/23/2023): The Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office stated that Sheila York turned herself in to the Delaware County Jail on Wednesday. She is charged with kidnapping and obstruction of justice.
After being booked into jail, York bonded out on a $10,000 cash bond.
The original story follows:
EDITOR’S NOTE: To protect the identity of the victim, we have changed her name to Jane Mullis in this article.
DELAWARE COUNTY, Ind. — Nearly 10 years after a Muncie woman went missing after a family reunion, police have a woman in custody in connection with the case.
On Wednesday, the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office said Sheila York was arrested in Asheville, North Carolina. While she does not face any charges directly tied to the investigation into Ashley Mullis’ disappearance, she does face charges for what happened to Mullis’ child after the disappearance.
27-year-old Ashley Morris Mullis was last seen in September 2013 by family and friends. No one has made contact with her since.
Shortly after Mullis went missing, the department said her child, Jane Mullis, was taken to Florida by Sheila and her husband Daniel. A probable cause affidavit filed against Sheila York details how the couple falsified records to keep the grandparents and Ashley’s estranged husband from seeing Jane.
In the documents, an investigator with the Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office says Ashley became pregnant with Jane while Ashley was married to another man and having an affair with Daniel. Sheila was not aware of this affair at the time.
When Jane was born, the document said Ashley was separated from her husband. While Ashley’s husband was aware of the affair, Sheila was not aware of her own husband’s involvement in the affair.
At the time, Ashley was living in a home owned by Daniel and Sheila. The document said Sheila would come over to collect the rent from Ashley and would play with Jane.
Often while collecting the rent, Sheila played with the child, (Jane) York. Sheila York was playing with a child that she did not know at the time was her husband, Daniel York’s love child with Ashley Mullis.Probable cause affidavit filed in the case against Sheila York
While Ashley claimed Daniel was the father, the document said paternity had yet to be established.
On September 19, just a few months after giving birth to Jane, Ashley went to a family reunion. When she left, she would never be seen. For days, her dad would leave notes on her door after he didn’t hear from her.
It wasn’t until October 14, nearly a month after Ashley went missing, that the document states Daniel was named as the father on the birth certificate.
Less than two years later, Daniel and Sheila moved to Florida, taking Jane with them. The document reiterates that Daniel had never established paternity. The Florida address they used when they moved was a UPS Store in Port Charlotte, Florida.
That month, the document states Ashley’s estranged husband filed a paternity lawsuit against Daniel. The next month, Daniel died, but the lawsuit went on.
The document states that in both the paternity lawsuit, and a lawsuit filed by Jane’s grandmothers seeking visitation, a lawyer representing Daniel claimed Daniel couldn’t travel to Indiana for the case because he needs heart surgery.
The document details how Sheila’s adult daughter with Daniel moved to Florida to help the family after Daniel’s death. A former office manager for Daniel’s lawyer says she saw on Facebook that Daniel died and confronted Sheila’s daughter about it, asking why they needed a lawyer when Daniel was dead.
When she did, the document states the daughter dropped to her knees and started crying, saying she didn’t know her father was dead. However, when pressed, the document said the daughter stopped crying and admitted to knowing.
The document states the daughter told the office manager that her family could not let Jane go back because “we have to keep her safe from, ‘Those People’.” The office manager said the daughter was referring to Jane’s grandparents.
When the grandparent’s lawyers attempted to bring up issues of fraud to the judge in the case, he never had the chance to appear before the judge. The document said the York’s lawyer informed the judge that Jane was adopted through a Florida court.
However, the document states Sheila York committed multiple acts of perjury in the adoption case. Among the issues was lying about her address, how long she had lived in Florida and saying Jane didn’t have any relatives known to her. The document also said Sheila lied about not being involved in any litigation involving Jane.
In October 2022, the document states that Daniel claimed he had taken a paternity test and was the biological father of Jane. However, there is no evidence that the test was conducted while Daniel was still alive.
The document states the test even has the date that the sample was taken from Daniel was the same day that Daniel died.
The department said Sheila was being held in North Carolina on a $100,000 fugitive warrant before she will be transferred to Delaware Count to face charges of kidnapping and obstruction of justice.
Mullis’ daughter was remanded to the custody of the Department of Social Services in North Carolina.
Mullis remains missing as of the time of this report.