Man accused of kidnapping children and fleeing on Yacht pleads not guilty
MONTEREY, Calif. -- A man accused of kidnapping his two young children from a South San Francisco home last month and taking them aboard a stolen yacht pleaded not guilty in San Mateo County Superior Court on Thursday, prosecutors said.
Christopher Maffei, 43, was arrested Sept. 7 after a four-day pursuit by authorities, when the stolen yacht ran out of gas off of the Monterey Peninsula, according to the district attorney's office.
His children, a boy and girl ages 2 and 3, were found on board and recovered safely.
Maffei allegedly abducted the children at about 3 p.m. on Sept. 4 from the home of their grandmother, who lives in the 100 block of James Court in South San Francisco.
He then drove in a rental car to Alameda where he sailed away with them, police said. Authorities at the time speculated he might be trying to reach Mexico.
The yacht, "Unleashed," was spotted about 50 miles off of the coast from Pillar Point Harbor in San Mateo County early Friday by the operator of a commercial fishing ship who notified the U.S. Coast Guard.
Coast Guard officials sent crews by air and by sea to find the yacht and eventually found Maffei and the two children on board the vessel.
Court records show that Maffei's wife had obtained a temporary restraining order against him shortly before the alleged kidnapping.
Maffei is scheduled to return to court on Nov. 20 for a preliminary hearing. He remains in custody in lieu of $500,000 bail.
south san francisco, alameda, coast guard, children, child abduction, monterey, monterey bay, peninsula news
- Frigid temperatures continue in the Bay Area
- Shooting victim found near school in Vallejo
- Palo Alto man says he was well-fed in North Korea
- Deep freeze grips most of United States
- 7 LA sheriff's deputies arrested in jail probe 42 min ago
- Dawson go-ahead field goal lifts 49ers by Seattle
- Facebook considers adding "sympathize" button
- Paul Walker memorial in California draws thousands
- Time announces finalists for Person of the Year
- Winter Spare the Air called for today
- Photos: Record low temperatures freeze the Bay Area
- abcnews: Newlyweds accused in thrill-kill murder
- roundup: Homeless shelter program; Windsor kidnapping
- weather: Bay Area weather forecast for Monday
Most Viewed StoriesMost Viewed Photos