Boy taken from mother’s arms found safe in California
Published: November 17, 2005 | 2756th good news item since 2003
A 4-year-old who was snatched from his mother’s arms by a man in a minivan was found safe at a gas station in Redding, Calif., police said. [Kidnapped: Child Abduction in America]
Jason Martinez Contreras was taken Monday from his mother as they waited for his preschool bus outside their home.
The California Highway Patrol found the boy Monday night inside a blue minivan in the parking lot of a gas station. A driver had recognized the van from its broadcast description and called authorities, said Lt. Chris Skinner, a Hillsboro Police Department spokesman.
The Shasta County Department of Human Services in California took custody of Jason, pending his transportation back home.
Jose Guadelupe, 24, was arrested and taken to the Shasta County jail after he was found in the van with the boy, authorities said.
An Amber Alert, issued at 1:30 p.m., identified Guadelupe as the suspect in the abduction. Skinner said police think the abduction was orchestrated by the boy’s father, Caritino Martinez Campos, who is separated from the boy’s mother and lives in Southern California.
The mother, Hortencia Contreras, told police that three men took the boy about 8:30 a.m. She recognized one of the men as Guadelupe, a family friend and an employee of her estranged husband, Skinner said. [What Every Woman Should Know about Divorce and Custody]
An Amber Alert was issued using the state’s Emergency Alert System and the cooperation of broadcasters to inform the public about Jason’s disappearance.
Monday’s Amber Alert was the 11th issued in Oregon, and the child at the center of each one has been recovered.