Father, grandparents must pay $150,000 cost of search for missing boys in Anaheim
A father and his parents who abducted two Anaheim boys in a custody dispute have been ordered to reimburse police for the $150,000 cost of searching for the missing children, authorities said Thursday.
Abraham Fernandez, 23, and his father, Louis Mendoza Fernandez, 52, both of Houston, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Orange County to two felony counts of child abduction. They were sentenced Wednesday to 270 days in jail.
Abraham Fernandez's mother, Elizabeth Fernandez, 42, of Houston, also pleaded guilty to two felony counts of child abduction and was sentenced to 90 days in jail.
The court ordered the three to pay restitution for the cost of the intense police investigation and search into the Oct. 7 abduction of brothers Justin Quinones, 2, and Jacob Quinones, 4, from their mother’s Anaheim apartment complex. Police said a custody dispute triggered the abduction.
The final restitution cost, which officials are still tabulating but is already up to $150,000, will be split between the three, said Sgt. Eric Trapp of the Anaheim Police Department.
"Anytime you have the kidnapping of a child, you are going to put all sorts of resources into it," Trapp said.
The children were found Nov. 2 when Elizabeth Fernandez turned herself and the children in to authorities in Harris County, Texas.
The decision to seek restitution is made "on a case-by-case basis," said Farrah Emami, a spokeswoman with the Orange County district attorney’s office.
"It would be determined at the end of a case and could be based on multiple factors," she said. "In a case like this, it could be man-hours and resources used."
-- Shan Li