Amber Alert Child Iris Crum Found Safely in Texas

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Ethan Czereda, 33
Photo on right Ethan Czereda, 33

March 10, 2024 – Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office

Missing child Iris Crum, 7, smiled after being located safely Sunday in League City, Texas, said Rutherford County Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Joseph Duncan.

“She looks as happy as can be,” Duncan said after viewing a picture of her sent to him by the Texas Rangers and League City Police who helped locate Iris. “She is smiling from ear-to-ear. She’s awaiting her dad to pick her up.”

Khaila Czereda, 30

Iris’ non-custodial mother, Khaila Czereda, was taken into custody on charges of felony child abduction from San Diego County, Calif., and custodial interference from Rutherford County. League City is a Houston suburb.

Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh said, “I am very proud of our detectives and other law enforcement partners for the dedication and tenacity for following all leads and information to bring Iris home.”

Iris was reported missing March 1 and was believed to be with her mother from Rutherford County.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation sent out an endangered child alert March 2. Based on new information, TBI upgraded the case to an Amber Alert Friday.

Duncan said sheriff’s detectives and deputies interviewed Khaila Czereda’s husband, Ethan, Saturday.

“We used investigative leads to gain information Iris was at a home in Texas,” Duncan said. “The Texas Rangers and police there apprehended Khaila and returned Iris to safety.”

Ethan Czereda, 33, of Fall Parkway near Walter Hill was charged with felony aggravated kidnapping, accessory after the fact and false report/information to officers. He is being held on $75,000 bond at Rutherford County Adult Detention Center.

A hearing on his charges is set May 13 in General Sessions Court.

“It was a team effort between TBI, the Sheriff’s Office, Texas officers and partner law enforcement agencies across the country,” Duncan said. “We worked a lot of hours but we have her safe.”

Duncan thanked everyone who called in tips that detectives followed.

“I am very thankful for everyone who called,” Duncan said.