Great-grandparents want good names restored after arrest

An Horry County couple in their 80s are trying to clear their names, after they were arrested for kidnapping last month.

The charges have since been dropped, but they are still living with the expense and embarrassment.

Charles Mellor is 88 years old and his wife, Ida, is 85.

They say they've been caring for their five-year-old great-granddaughter Franchesca, or Frannie, since she was a baby.

One day last month, Frannie's mother, the Mellor's granddaughter, suddenly became concerned that the Mellors were going to take off with her child.

"According to her, someone told her that I was leaving the country with the baby and she claims she panicked," said Ida Mellor.

Frannie's mother was acting strangely that day, she seemed agitated, the Mellors say.

They were concerned and refused to turn Frannie over to her in that condition.

So, Frannie's mother called Horry County police, claiming her grandparents were trying to kidnap her daughter. The Mellors were arrested, the first time in their lives they had been in trouble with the law.

"I go to church when I'm supposed to go, I never do nothing wrong, so I can't understand why this happened to me," said Charles Mellor.

The Mellors say that by a couple of days later, all was forgotten and Frannie was back staying with them.

The charges were dropped by the solicitor's office last week. But by then, it had cost them more than $3,000 to bond out of jail and their mug shots had been printed in the newspaper and on the Internet.

The Mellors daughter, Frannie's grandmother, says she thinks the police could have resolved things without anyone being arrested.

"It should have been handled differently. This went out of control and it didn't have to get to this level, it could have been taken care of right then and there," said Theresa Hassett.

The solicitor's office said the police were just doing their jobs.

The Mellors say they want their bond money back, though they've been told it's not refundable, and they want their good names restored because they say they're not criminals.