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Rep. Gary Miller's three missing grandchildren found in Mexico

The three missing grandchildren of Diamond Bar Congressman Gary Miller are in protective custody after their mother was arrested in Mexico, authorities say.

August 12, 2011|By Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times

The three grandchildren of U.S. Rep. Gary Miller (R-Diamond Bar), missing for nearly four years, are now in protective custody after their mother was arrested in Mexicali, Mexico, authorities said.

In November 2007, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department detectives were dispatched to the 22000 block of Cello Drive in Diamond Bar to investigate the suspected abduction of the three boys by their mother, Jennifer Lopez DeJongh.

DeJongh, 34, did not have legal custody of the children. DeJongh and Brian Miller, Gary Miller's son, are divorced and were in a dispute over certain custodial rights regarding medical and educational decisions for the children. Authorities believed DeJongh had gone to Nevada and possibly Las Vegas.

She was arrested Wednesday on a federal warrant for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. When she returns to the U.S., it is expected that the federal charge will be dropped and she will be prosecuted by the Los Angeles County district attorney's office on parental abduction charges.

The oldest child, Brian, is 12. His twin brothers, Evan and Christian, are 10.

The children are expected to be reunited with the family shortly, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Capt. Mike Parker said.

"My wife and I are extremely relieved that after more than 31/2 years our grandchildren have been found unharmed and returned safely to the United States," Miller, whose district includes Diamond Bar, Brea, Chino and Chino Hills, said in a statement.

Miller said he is "eternally grateful" to the FBI, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Mexican authorities and "all those whose hard work and unwavering dedication made this possible."

"I would also like to express my deep appreciation for all of my colleagues, friends, and constituents who have given my family their support and their prayers during this extremely difficult time," the statement said.

Miller, a Republican, represents the 42nd Congressional District.

andrew.blankstein@latimes.com

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