Grandparents attack daughter, kidnap her child in Lakewood, court docs say

LAKEWOOD, Wash. - A Portland, Oregon couple was arrested last week, accused of breaking into their daughter-in-law's home in Lakewood, attacking her and kidnapping her four-year-old child.

Police were called to a home in Lakewood late in the afternoon of March 22. A woman told officers that her boyfriend's parents showed up at her place, punched her multiple times in the face while she was holding her four-year-old daughter, then they took her child and drove off in a new, bright yellow Jeep pickup truck.

According to probable cause documents, police spoke with the boyfriend, who explained that his parents — 45-year-old Pete Costello and 40-year-old Sheila Sterio of Portland — were homeless and using drugs. Because of that, he told officers he did not talk with them much, and they were no longer welcome at their home in Lakewood.

Just a half-hour prior, the two had called him asking if they could come visit. The boyfriend told police he believed they were still in Portland, and he told them ‘No,’ according to court docs.

Forty minutes later, he got a call from his girlfriend saying she had been attacked by his parents, who left with their child.

A bulletin was put out to all law enforcement agencies south of Pierce County, and around three hours later, authorities tracked the yellow Jeep to a Walmart parking lot in Tumwater. Court docs say police arrested Costello and Sterio, but kept the child with them during the arrest, as she had started crying when separated from her grandparents.

According to court docs, Sterio told officers the child was "her baby," saying she had raised the girl for most of her life, only returning her to her biological parents in Jan. 2024. Officers say Sterio explained she was in the middle of cancer treatment and was currently homeless, saying she was "trying to get a house."

Police then called the victim and her boyfriend to come down to pick up their child.

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Costello and Sterio were booked into Pierce County Jail for domestic violence charges of first-degree burglary, second-degree kidnapping and fourth-degree assault.