Texas man wanted for allegedly abducting son in 1992 arrested in New York

A Texas man wanted for allegedly abducting his then-13-month-old son during a custody dispute was arrested Friday in New York.

Daniel L. Kestel, 58, was caught with the assistance of the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office and arraigned in Orleans County Court in Albion, according to a report from The Buffalo News. He is being held there pending an extradition process which would bring him back to Texas.

The newspaper, citing the FBI, reports Kestel was charged by authorities in Texas with interference in child custody after he took his son, Justin, from the boy’s mother in June 1992. Once the FBI became involved, Kestel was charged with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

The Waco Tribune-Herald reports Kestel picked up Justin from his former wife’s home before the pair disappeared. It was the last day Karen Hunter, Justin’s mother, saw him.

“I get most upset every year around his birthday, May 5, and in June on the date he was abducted,” Hunter told the Tribune-Herald in June 2012, the 20th anniversary of the abduction.

Lorena, Texas Police Chief Tom Dickson said the last lead listed in the case file came in June 2011 after someone reported that they thought they had seen Kestel and Justin at a restaurant in Ohio. Authorities said Kestel had family in Ohio.

Dickinson said Monday “this is a good day.”

Christopher Combs, a special agent in charge of the San Antonio, Texas FBI bureau, told The Buffalo News that the FBI and Lorena police had been working with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and other law enforcement agencies across the country.

Kestel was tracked down to Medina, New York, where sources told The Buffalo News he had family in the area.

The FBI said in a statement that Justin is an adult now and doing well.

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