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California Briefing | SANTA ANA

Father arrested in 1976 kidnapping

June 20, 2008|Paloma Esquivel

A 68-year-old man who allegedly abducted his son and returned him to his mother 15 years later, was arrested Thursday 32 years after the kidnapping. The arrest resolves the oldest abduction warrant in Orange County, prosecutors said.

Donald Evert Rowe had partial custody of his 20-month-old son Brian in 1976 when he picked the boy up for a visit at his ex-wife's Huntington Beach home and didn't bring him back, prosecutors said.

Fifteen years later, Rowe returned Brian to his mother because they were "not getting along," prosecutors said. At the time, Rowe called an attorney to ask about turning himself in, but ended up fleeing again, this time alone.

Although Rowe returned his son, "that does not erase the fact that he committed a crime and deprived Brian's mother of a relationship with her son for 15 years," said Deputy Dist. Atty. Jim Basin. "That's an entire childhood."

Rowe was arrested Thursday morning by Orange County investigators at his home in River Oaks, Texas, a suburb of Fort Worth, and is facing extradition proceedings.

He faces two felony counts associated with the abduction and could get up to four years in state prison if convicted.

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-- Paloma Esquivel

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