On Sunday, June 21, 2015, the Cathedral City Police Department received a report of a missing 22 year old male from a residence in Cathedral City. The missing adult, who lived with his father and stepmother, texted his family saying, “I love you.” He was not answering phone calls or text messages from his family and the last text he sent was concerning based on a reported history of mental illness. As an officer was responding, the father discovered his 12 year old stepdaughter was also missing and believed to be with the 22 year old stepbrother. The family discovered this male’s ATM card had been used in Quartzsite, Arizona a few hours prior.
Detectives worked as a solid, cohesive team, all volunteering for different tasks that needed to be handled; from conducting follow-up interviews with local and distant family members, crime scene processing and coordination with FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. An Amber Alert was initiated in Arizona, and Arizona Public Safety agencies as well as CCPD began receiving numerous sightings of the suspect vehicle. The witness reports began leading our efforts to the northern area of Arizona.
The suspect vehicle was eventually spotted in Flagstaff, Az on a highway heading towards the Grand Canyon. The FBI contacted the National Park Service Rangers and local county sheriffs deputies began converging in the vast area looking for the suspect vehicle.At about 1:30 p.m. the Arizona Department of Public Safety found the suspect driving on a rural highway in northern Arizona, just south of the Nevada border. The victim was recovered unharmed and reunited with her family. The suspect was later extradited to California on charges of Kidnapping and other charges. The suspect is currently in custody and the case is under review by the Riverside County District Attorney’s office. Without the non-stop, tenacious investigative work by the entire Detective Bureau, the outcome of this case may have been tragic.