Local children returned safely from Utah

The Lassen County District’s Attorney’s Office announced the return to Lassen County of two local children. The search began in October when the Susanville Police Department issued a statement regarding the children and a possible parental abduction in Susanville.

Here’s the statement
“In mid-January, our office was served with a court order from Placer County Superior Court stating that children who were the subject of a custodial order issued out of Placer County had been taken by a non-custodial parent from their current home in Lassen County. The court order directed the district attorney, through our Child Abduction Response Team, to take immediate steps to procure the safe return of the children. However, our office does not have a Child Abduction Response Team like larger jurisdictions — therefore, our team became district attorney Susan Rios and DA Investigator Terra Avilla.

“Through conversation with the custodial parent and further investigation, we were able to locate the children in Utah and Avilla began communicating with the non-custodial parent in an attempt to facilitate the safe return of the children. Avilla and Rios were able to prepare and file the necessary declarations to get detention warrants for the children and set a deprivation hearing in Placer County Superior Court.

“Earlier this week Avilla traveled to Placer County for the hearing and the non-custodial parent did in fact arrive from Utah and bring the children who were then returned to the custodial parent. In the event the return was not successful, Avilla would have been required, and was prepared, to travel to Utah to retrieve the children via the warrant. A DA Investigator from the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office was prepared to accompany Avilla to Utah in the recovery effort. The district attorney of Tulare County was also kind enough to offer the assistance of his investigative unit.

“Safe child recovery is a function and requirement of our office many do not know that we perform, separate from our crime prosecution responsibilities. It is time consuming, and we are not funded nor otherwise resourced for a unit dedicated to these types of sensitive and complex matters. Therefore, we are grateful for the partnerships we have formed with the counties who assisted.

“The case is currently being reviewed for criminal charges against the non-custodial parent.”