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Extradition of Colorado mother accused of killing two children, arrested in UK could take months

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Authorities arrested Kimberlee Singler, the Colorado Springs woman suspected of killing two of her children, in London over the weekend, but it could be months before she is extradited back to Colorado.

Colorado Springs Police Department said Singler was arrested in the United Kingdom on Dec. 30. The National Crime Agency (NCA), which helps arrest people wanted for crimes in other countries, told KRDO13 Investigates its officers from the National Extradition Unit arrested Singler in the Kensington area of London.

On Jan. 1, Singler appeared before the Westminster Magistrates Court for extradition proceedings, the NCA said. Her next court hearing is Jan. 29.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), international extradition is treaty-based, meaning that the United States must have an extradition treaty with the United Kingdom in order to consider the request for extradition. Both countries have a bilateral extradition relationship based on a treaty signed in 2003.

However, the DOJ said the process could take months or even years. After someone is arrested, the courts in the arresting country will determine if the extradition request meets the requirements of the applicable extradition treaty and the law of the requesting country, according to the DOJ.

According to the U.S. Embassy in the United Kingdom’s website, the most recently signed treaty from 2003, “strengthened each country’s ability to extradite serious offenders wanted for a wide variety of crimes – including terrorism, other violent crimes, organized crime, and white-collar crime.”

Ryan Robertson, a criminal defense attorney with Robinson and Henry, said the the United States has to prove to the United Kingdom it has enough evidence Singler committed this alleged crime. Robertson said it helps the two countries have a good relationship.

"The United States and the United Kingdom have such a tight relationship and based off the heinous nature of the allegations being made against Ms. Singler, this strikes me as something that will be a very easy call for the United Kingdom," Robertson said.

If the courts rules there is enough evidence for an extradition, an executive authority of the government, which would be the Secretary of State in the UK, will have to order the extradition. According to UK law, extradition is prohibited if the person could face the death penalty, which Colorado abolished in 2020.

However, the process has multiple appeal steps. If a judge agrees to Singler’s extradition back to the U.S., she could appeal to the High Court in the U.K. within 14 days. She can also appeal to the High Court after the Secretary of State’s decision. If the High Court agrees to the extradition, Singler could appeal again to the Supreme Court.

"I anticipate that she'll fight extradition and also she'll want to pursue that appellate process there as much as possible," Robertson said. "So to that end, this is something that could take months, if not over a year for her to be extradited."

The DOJ said the extradition process can take a long time because “the United States does not control the pace of the proceedings. Even if there are no immediate legal impediments to extradition, it may take many months or even many years for the extradition request to be heard by the courts and for the executive authority to make a surrender decision.”

The Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) told KRDO13 Investigates it is new to the international extradition process but couldn’t comment further about the case, including how Singler left the country.

Ira Cronin with the Colorado Springs Police Department told KRDO NewsRadio that CSPD was limited in how they could surveil Singler due to the Constitution. He says that until a judge agreed with the charges and they were able to obtain an arrest warrant, there was very little they could do. Cronin also noted that in the early stages of the investigation, it is important to keep certain information "close to the vest" to ensure that Singler can have a fair trial in El Paso County.

On Dec. 19, CSPD responded to reports of a burglary at a Palomino Ranch Point condo unit.

Police said when officers arrived, they found two of Singler's children, 9-year-old Ellie Wentz and 7-year-old Aden Wentz, dead. Singler and her 11-year-old daughter were injured and taken to the hospital.

Over the course of their investigation, CSPD said they determined a burglary never happened and they developed probable cause to arrest Singler for the murder of her two children.

Though CSPD said Singler was initially cooperative with law enforcement and was interviewed more than once by police, she ultimately fled Colorado Springs.

Kevin Wentz, Singler’s ex-husband, said in a statement he is relieved the search for Singler has ended and hopes she will be extradited to Colorado soon.

Wentz and nearly 1,000 court documents detail a nearly four-year-long legal battle for custody of their three children. On December 16, 2023, Singler was ordered to drop off her children to Wentz. The agreement says she would drop them off at the CSPD Stetson Hills Substation at 9 a.m. Court records said Singler never showed up.

The next day, Wentz and his attorney asked a Larimer County Judge to order law enforcement to help him gain possession of his children since Singler was violating their child custody agreement.

Judge Patrick Esser granted their request. The judge ordered that all three children should be given over to Wentz immediately. Law enforcement was ordered to assist Wentz in finding and locating Singler and the children.

Colorado Springs Police Sgt. Zahrobsky called Singler on Dec. 16, and Singler informed him that she was "nowhere near the police station," court documents say.

When Wentz and his attorney reached out to her, she informed them via email that she was in Breckenridge, Colorado with all three of her children. His attorney claimed that this was a "willful" violation of their child custody agreement and they ordered Singler to provide the children to him that morning.

The judge ordered Wentz to have full-time custody of the children until their child custody and visitation agreement could be re-visited at their next hearing on January 18, 2024. Two days later CSPD alleges Singler killed two of her children.

Singler is facing multiple charges including two counts of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, child abuse, and assault.

KRDO NewsRadio's full interview with Ira Cronin can be listened to below.

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Quinn Ritzdorf

Quinn is a reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about him here.


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