Girl Missing From California Foster Home Found With Biological Mother

A 12-year-old girl who disappeared from a foster home last week was located at a Greyhound bus station in Chattanooga, Tenn., on Wednesday, Los Angeles County sheriff's officials said.

Estephanie Flores was found with her biological mother, Iris Zavala, and taken into protective custody, said Lt. Michael J. Rodriguez.

Zavala was held for investigation of planning to run away with her daughter, said Rodriguez. She could face charges of child abduction, kidnapping, child abandonment and child endangerment, he said.

Robin Lemus, 8, an unrelated foster child who disappeared from the home with Flores on Monday, was found Tuesday in a hot car in a McDonald's parking lot in Miami, Okla.

Police there told investigators that Zavala bought bus tickets for a trip from Joplin, Mo., to Miami, Fla., where she has relatives, Rodriguez said.

"This was a cross-country event that we had to follow and investigate around the clock," he said.

Police met the bus during a stopover at a terminal in Chattanooga and identified Zavala and Flores.

Officials said Flores stole her foster parents' Lexus and drove with the younger girl to meet Zavala and an unidentified 18-year-old man at an unknown location Monday.

Rodriguez said the man did not get on the bus with Zavala and her daughter, and investigators were still trying to find and identify him.

Flores was removed from her biological family because of "allegations of misconduct" and placed in a foster home more than a year ago, said Rodriguez. Lemus was removed from her home about a month ago.

Zavala will be arraigned July 10 in Tennessee. California authorities will seek her extradition.

San Dimas is a suburb east of Los Angeles.