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Father, grandparents who abducted boys must pay $150,000 for police search

All three also get jail terms for taking the two boys, ages 2 and 4, from their mother's Anaheim apartment complex to Texas in a custody dispute.

January 07, 2011|By Shan Li, Los Angeles Times

A father and his parents who abducted two Anaheim boys in a custody dispute have been ordered to reimburse police for the $150,000 cost of searching for the missing children, authorities said Thursday.

Abraham Fernandez, 23, and his parents, Louis Mendoza Fernandez, 52, and Elizabeth Fernandez, 42, all of Houston, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Orange County to two felony counts each of child abduction.

The father and grandfather were sentenced Wednesday to 270 days in jail and the grandmother was sentenced to 90 days in jail.

The court ordered all three to pay restitution for the cost of the intense police investigation and search into the Oct. 7 abduction of brothers Justin Quinones, 2, and Jacob Quinones, 4, from their mother's Anaheim apartment complex. Police said a custody dispute triggered the abduction.

The final restitution cost, which officials are still tabulating but is already up to $150,000, will be split among the three, said Sgt. Eric Trapp of the Anaheim Police Department.

"Anytime you have the kidnapping of a child, you are going to put all sorts of resources into it," Trapp said.

"It was a huge priority" that required officers to work around the clock to track down the boys, he said.

The children were found Nov. 2 when Elizabeth Fernandez turned herself and the children in to authorities in Harris County, Texas.

The decision to seek restitution is made "on a case-by-case basis," said Farrah Emami, a spokeswoman for the Orange County district attorney's office.

"It would be determined at the end of a case and could be based on multiple factors," she said. "In a case like this, it could be man-hours and resources used."

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