Local

Abducted Riverdale baby returned to mom; father arrested

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sheriff's investigators say little Elijah Rivas was taken from his mother's home in Riverdale Saturday, during a tense child custody battle.

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His abduction prompted a statewide Amber Alert before authorities found the child more than eighty miles away in the Kern County town of Wasco.

The baby's paternal grandparents were key to getting the baby back home to his mother. The sheriff says when the suspect reached out to his family for help, they urged him to do the right thing and return his son.

Little Elijah wore a suit and tie and slept mostly through a news conference announcing his safe return.

Sheriff Margaret Mims says the baby was taken Saturday night just minutes after his mother, Lupe Bueno, served the child's father with a restraining order that limited visits with his son.

Sheriff Mims said, "He became upset. It was cold that night. They were outside and talking and Lupe went inside the house to get some warm blankets and clothing for the baby and while she did that, Edgar Rodriguez Ramos took the baby in the car and left the area."

The suspect's mother says her son had not seen his baby for nearly a month and became desperate to see Elijah. She says when Ramos contacted his family Sunday, she urged him to call sheriff's detectives.

Lourdes Ramos said, "Edgar you did this again? Police officers are looking for you. I had the number to the detectives at a business we have so we drove there to clear up the situation and that's when he was arrested."

The sheriff says investigators issued an amber alert after they became concerned about the suspect's state of mind and the child's safety.

The biggest challenge to finding little Elijah came after the suspect ditched the car at his family's home in Wasco.

Sheriff Mims said, "The vehicle that Edgar was in fact driving was left at his parents' house in Wasco. No one had been at the house when he arrived so they didn't know how he left, but he left the vehicle, which made the Amber Alert a little more difficult and complicated."

Investigators say during the 24 hours the child was missing he was moved from place to place, transported by some of Ramos' friends. The sheriff says the baby does not appear to be hurt.

The baby's mother had petitioned the court for sole custody of the child. The couple had a court hearing this Wednesday to determine the issue. For now, the suspect is in jail. His bail for taking the child is $100-thousand.

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Tags:
amber alert, kidnapping, riverdale, fresno county, wasco, kern county, local, sontaya rose
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