Baby taken from foster family in 2014 found in Lynnwood

Her father had been granted an unsupervised visit with her California and he never returned.

LYNNWOOD — A baby taken from her foster family in California three years ago was found safe in Lynnwood on Thursday.

The girl, now 4, and her father apparently had been living in south Everett, according to local police. The father, 48, adopted a different last name and sold cars over Craigslist to make money.

He was arrested Thursday on a warrant for allegedly abducting his child.

In 2014, a judge had granted the father an unsupervised visit with his daughter, who was staying with a family in southern California, according to the U.S. Marshal’s Service. The man left with his 1-year-old baby and never returned.

Earlier this week, the Snohomish County Violent Offender Task Force heard the pair might have settled in Washington. The agency pulls members from the sheriff’s office, Everett Police Department, U.S. Marshal’s Service and the state Department of Corrections. They are responsible for tracking down the county’s most dangerous felons.

Task force members saw online that the father was selling an old BMW. They scheduled an appointment with him to take a look.

An officer posed as a potential buyer. He agreed to meet the father at a gas station in the 5100 block of 168th Street SW in Lynnwood.

More police were watching from afar. They saw a BMW pull up with a Cadillac that allegedly was driven by the father’s cousin, said Sgt. David Crandall with the task force. An officer with binoculars spotted a little girl in the back seat of the Cadillac.

He called the undercover officer, who wrapped up the meeting, telling the father he would give him a call after viewing a few other options.

Crandall had been waiting in his car a couple of blocks away. He followed the Cadillac and BMW as they drove away. They headed north to the 16200 block of 48th Avenue West.

The two cars pulled over to the side of the road in a neighborhood. The father walked over to the Cadillac. He grabbed the girl’s hand and walked her over to the BMW where he buckled her into a car seat.

The task force converged and arrested the man.

He was taken to a local hospital after reporting chest pains and shortness of breath, according to a probable cause affidavit. He later was booked into the Snohomish County Jail while he awaits a possible extradition to California.

His next hearing is scheduled for Jan. 2.

Child Protective Services took custody of the girl. Crandall said she hadn’t been going to school. She didn’t know how old she was. Crandall told her she is turning 5 later this month.

The girl is expected to return to California in the coming days where she will be placed into a new family.

Caitlin Tompkins: 425-339-3192; ctompkins@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

More in Local News

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
Inslee: The president made me speed up teacher vaccinations

Here’s what’s happening on Day 54 of the 2021 session of the Washington Legislature.

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee speaks with special ed Pre-K teacher Michelle Ling in her classroom at Phantom Lake Elementary School in Bellevue, Wash. Tuesday, March 2, 2021. (Ellen M. Banner/The Seattle Times via AP, Pool)
Governor: Educators are now eligible for coronavirus vaccine

“This should give educators more confidence,” Jay Inslee said. Other frontline workers could soon be next.

Frances McDormand in "Nomadland." (Searchlight Pictures) 20210304
Masked in a nearly empty theater, a movie outing at last

Just four of us were in the audience for a matinee showing of “Nomadland” at Stanwood Cinemas.

James Myles walks his 5-month-old Pembroke Welsh Corgi Ellie around Martha Lake Park on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 in Lynnwood, Washington. Myles entered Ellie into a contest called Americas Favorite Pet, where she's currently in 2nd place for her group. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Vote for Ellie: Fluffy corgi from Lynnwood vying for top dog

“Her Fluffiness” is competing to be America’s Favorite Pet. The contest raised $300,000 for PAWS last year.

A view of the courtyard leading to the main entrance of the new Stanwood High building on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2020 in Stanwood, Washington. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Law gives Washington high school seniors leeway to graduate

Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill that can waive some requirements for students who were on track before the pandemic.

A Marysville Pilchuck football player sports a spear on his helmet as the Tomahawks took on Snohomish in the Wesco 3A Championship Friday evening at Quil Ceda Stadium on November 1, 2019. School district leaders may soon need to consider dropping Marysville Pilchuck High School’s mascot, the Tomahawks. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Should Marysville Pilchuck High drop the name ‘Tomahawks’?

A state bill would ban Native American mascots and symbols from schools — unless there is tribal permission.

Snohomish County Council delays education spending vote

The council is now slated to decide next week on the measure, which targets a pre-K learning gap.

New vaccination site opens at Angel of the Winds Arena

The clinic in Everett could be the first in the state to offer the single-shot Johnson Johnson vaccine.

About a dozen metal dinosaurs sit in the front yard of a home owned by Burt Mason and Mary Saltwick on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021 in Freeland, Washington. The couple are used to finding strangers in their yard and taking photos. Every year on their trip to Tucson, Burt and Mary bring home another figure  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Dinos on Whidbey? This Freeland yard is a Jurassic Park

These creatures from long ago won’t chomp or chase you, and you’re welcome to visit.

Most Read