Investigators from the Kings County District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigations successfully recovered two children who were abducted by their father and taken to Mexico, according to the Kings County District Attorney’s Office.
A press release from the DA’s office said three investigators and an investigative assistant from the Kings County District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigations, along with state officials, crossed the border into Mexico on Feb. 1 and successfully recovered both children.
The children, ages 2 and 9 years old, were returned to their mother in Hanford last Saturday.
The children were abducted from Kings County in 2016 and taken nearly 2,000 miles south to Michoacán, Mexico, without permission from their mother, said the DA’s office.
Officials said the mother of the children contacted the Kings County District Attorney’s Child Abduction Unit for assistance, and the unit prepared a case to be submitted to Mexico under The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, an international treaty.
After receiving the case, the DA’s office said Mexican authorities located the children. After court proceedings in Mexico, authorities ordered the return of the children to the United States.
The Hague Convention provides for expedited return of wrongfully abducted or retained children who are taken to signatory countries. Both the U.S. and Mexico have signed the treaty in addition to 60 others.
The Kings County District Attorney operates a specialized Child Abduction Unit to assist left behind parents and recover children who have been abducted or wrongfully retained by a parent, guardian, or other persons.
“The victimization experienced by a child who has been abducted by a parent continues every day that the child is kept from his or her left-behind parent,” said Keith Fagundes, Kings County District Attorney. “Such a negative impact is also felt by the child’s family, friends, and by those in our community.”
Criminal charges against the father are currently under review by the District Attorney’s Office.
“I am extremely proud of our investigators and staff, who worked tirelessly for several days to ensure that these children from our community were returned to their mother here in Kings County,” Fagundes said.