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Abduction Suspect's Identity Fools Even Her Children, Feds Say

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RALEIGH, N.C. — A missing children's case took a strange twist Friday when authorities said the alleged abductor had disguised herself as a man -- misleading even the children who had been abducted for nearly three years.

Two children -- then ages 3 and 5 -- disappeared from their father from Globe, Ariz., in the summer of 2003. On Friday, officials received a tip that the children's mother had them in Roanoke Rapids.

U.S. Marshals went to a house there Friday and found the two children. They arrested Shellie Karnes, 30, who is their mother.

However, authorities said that Karnes was impersonating a man.

"They arrested a man and woman, but as it turns out the man was impersonating a man who was actually the mother of the children," said Charles Reavis, a U.S. Marshal. "The children thought the lady who was representing herself as a man was actually their father and the children thought the lady in the house was actually the mother."

The other woman who was at the house -- who the children believed was their mother -- has not been charged.

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