WALLINGFORD, Vt. (AP) – A Wallingford woman who police say used two fake identities and hid out for more than 13 years has been arrested on a charge of custodial interference and returned to New Jersey.

Authorities say a woman known locally as Emily Pels was identified as Michelle Suzette Kimble, 41, who disappeared from her White Township, N.J. home in 1993, taking her two per-school daughters with her.

Police are trying to determine if Kimble had help as she went into hiding.

“There is evidence that there was some kind of network that helped her along the way and gave her guidance for how to change her name and obtain Social Security numbers and so forth,” said Detective Cpl. Michael Burns of the Vermont State Police.

Kimble alleged to police in New Jersey that her then-husband Daniel Kimble had been “emotionally, physically and sexually abusive to her and at least one of her children, prompting her decision to leave him,” according to a police affidavit in the case.

She and the children disappeared about a year after the couple separated, as Daniel Kimble was asking for more visitation with the girls, authorities said.

Police doubt her story of abuse, noting that no abuse charges were ever filed against Daniel Kimble during or after his marriage to Michelle.

“He’s never been arrested, before or after the disappearance,” said New Jersey Detective William Tietjen. “Since she left, he’s lived with another woman for over 15 years and helped raise her four children. No problems.”

Frank Whittlesey, Michelle Kimble’s New Jersey lawyer, said supporters and family members in New Jersey and Pennsylvania are trying to raise $250,000 to get her released on bail before trial.

“This has been an enormous shock to her, to be pulled out of everyday life and put into a jail cell,” he said. “All she did was do what was in the best interest of her children and out of a lack of faith in the justice system.”

Both of the girls are now students at colleges outside Vermont.

Burns said there “could be ramifications with the Internal Revenue Service and the kids’ student loans. It’s going to take time to sort out the myriad problems that came along with what she did.”

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