Amber Alert in Red Lake: Woman federally charged with arson, murder and child neglect

The mother who was the subject of an AMBER Alert in March has been federally charged with murder, arson and child neglect after state prosecutors dropped their charges against her in April.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Jennifer Stately, 35, has been indicted on one count of premeditated murder, one count of murder in the course of committing child abuse, one count of murder in the course of committing arson, one count of arson and one count of felony child neglect. 

Stately was initially charged by the state with child torture, third-degree assault of a child under the age of 4 and malicious punishment of a child. The charges were later dismissed after it was found that Red Lake Reservation was outside the jurisdiction of the state court. Federal law allows six states, including Minnesota, to have jurisdiction over criminal matters on Indian Reservations, but Red Lake Reservation is exempt from that law. 

READ MORE: Amber Alert in Red Lake: Child torture charges dismissed against mother

According to the DOJ, on March 15, Stately allegedly killed two children after she "slashed" at them with a sharp object and set fire to the home they were in. One of the children was fatally stabbed in the chest, while the other suffered non-fatal stab wounds but died of smoke inhalation due to the fire set. 

Stately then fled the scene in her car with a third child, and an AMBER Alert was sent out around 9 p.m. that day, the DOJ said. Stately's car was spotted and when authorities stopped her they found the child. The child had visible signs of child neglect. 

"This case is another example of how AMBER Alerts save lives. They get critical information out quickly to millions of Minnesotans willing to step up to help rescue a child in mortal danger," BCA Superintendent Drew Evans said in a statement. "We are grateful to the Minnesotan who acted quickly and bravely in this case, and to all Minnesotans who join in the search when a child needs them most."

Stately appeared in U.S. District Court in Duluth on Monday. She will remain in custody pending further court proceedings.