Published May 30, 2010
A father is behind bars, arrested for allegedly kidnapped his own children from California 14 years ago, and bringing them to Central Florida to live.
For years, investigators have been searching for him, but it was the social networking website Facebook that delivered the break it took more than a decade to get, MyFoxOrlando reports.
Faustino Utrera is now charged with two counts of kidnapping, and two counts of violating child custody orders.
According to the Osceola County Sheriff's Office, Utrera was at a bus stop on Wednesday at about 2:30 in the afternoon, waiting to pick up his 16-year-old son from school, when he was taken into custody.
Faustino's 16-year-old son and 17-year-old daughter had been attending celebration high school. Investigators said the family of three had actually been living in the palm key mobile home park in Polk County.
Investigators said that in 1995, Utrera took his two kids from the family's San Bernardino, California home and disappeared.
Then just last march, investigators said the mother of the children was on Facebook and found her daughter. When she began conversing online, her very own daughter, who hadn't seen her since she was 3 years old, told her mom she wanted nothing to do with her and deleted her Facebook page.
San Bernardino authorities issued an out-of-state arrest warrant, and this past Wednesday, Osceola County deputies caught up with Utrera.
We know Faustino's daughter is about to turn 18, and she officially graduated from celebration high school on Thursday night. For now, both children are in the custody of the State of Florida.