Berkeley County fugitive Neely Blanchard is fighting efforts to return her to South Carolina from Pennsylvania, where she was taken into custody by federal marshals this month, authorities said.

Berkeley County sheriff's Capt. Rick Ollic said Blanchard has refused to waive extradition, so investigators will have to seek a governor's warrant to compel her return to the Palmetto State. He didn't have an estimate Tuesday on how long that process might take.

An official at the Allegheny County jail in Pittsburgh said Blanchard posted bail on a fugitive from justice charge on Dec. 10 and is no longer in custody. Allegheny County officials could not provide further information about her release or her current whereabouts.

Attempts to reach Blanchard by phone and email Tuesday were unsuccessful.

Berkeley County authorities have been trying to get Blanchard back behind bars since Nov. 25, when a mix-up at the county jail caused her to be mistakenly released while awaiting trial on a variety of charges.

The 26-year-old mother of three promptly left the state and traveled to the Pittsburgh area, where she said she had been living for some time.

She told The Post and Courier on Dec. 4 that she didn't know anything was wrong when jail officials set her free, and that she had always planned to return to face trial and continue fighting for custody of her eldest daughter, 5.

Blanchard insisted she was planning to leave that week for South Carolina to meet with a new attorney. Less than a day after speaking with the newspaper, however, the U.S. Marshals Service moved in and arrested her at a friend's home and booked her into the Allegheny County detention center, officials said.

Blanchard, who also has 1-year-old twins, is accused of trying to drive off with her then-4-year-old daughter without permission in May from Westview Primary School in Goose Creek.

She also was cited for drug possession in the incident, though she maintains she had a prescription for the pills she had.

Blanchard, who has given addresses in Florida, Kentucky and Pennsylvania, got out of jail in July after posting $75,000 bail, but a judge tossed her back behind bars Nov. 18 for violating the conditions of her release, court documents show.

Reach Glenn Smith at 937-5556 or