Originally created 09/26/03

Police in Indiana charge impostor



TOPEKA, Kan. - A Topeka woman accused of impersonating a couple's kidnapped daughter, missing since 1986, flew to Indiana under police escort Thursday morning to face charges.

Donna Walker, 35, was booked into the Boone County Jail in Indianapolis at about 3 a.m. and was being held on $50,000 bond, jail officer Brad Bailey said. She is charged with felony identity deception and misdemeanor false reporting.

Boone County prosecutors say Ms. Walker allegedly posed as Shannon Marie Sherrill, the daughter of William Michael Sherrill and Dorothy Sherrill who was 6 years old when kidnapped 17 years ago.

On Wednesday, the Kansas Supreme Court denied Ms. Walker's plea to be released from the Shawnee County Jail, where she had been since July 31.

An order denying Ms. Walker's Sept. 3 request for bail was entered by Supreme Court Justice Robert L. Gernon. The court didn't issue a formal opinion, said Ron Keefover, a Supreme Court spokesman.

It was the second time in less than 24 hours that a Kansas court had ruled against Ms. Walker. On Tuesday, Shawnee County District Judge Nancy Parrish dissolved Ms. Walker's challenge to the legality of her arrest by ruling that Indiana's extradition documents were in order and that Indiana prosecutors had sufficiently alleged the elements of the crimes charged.

A spokesman for the Kansas attorney general's office said Judge Parrish's ruling cleared the way to transport Ms. Walker to Indiana.