Published January 14, 2015
A 3-year-old boy kidnapped nearly two weeks ago is back in his home town after being found in Mexico and reunited with his mother, the sheriff said.
Briant Rodriguez was undergoing physical and emotional evaluations at a San Bernardino hospital after being brought back from the Mexican border town of Mexicali, where he was found wandering the streets.
A spokesman for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department didn't immediately respond to a call Sunday morning seeking an update on the boy's condition and whether he had been sent home from the hospital.
Briant's reunion Saturday with his mother, Maria Rosalina Millan, ended an ordeal that began May 3 when two armed men burst into the family's San Bernardino home.
"I've been doing this for 30 years. I'm not saying it doesn't happen ... but the odds of finding him safe and alive — the odds of finding him alive — went down every day," San Bernardino County Sheriff Rod Hoops said Saturday. "Our detectives never gave up."
Mother and son were united in Calexico, Calif., a day after Mexican authorities told their U.S. counterparts they'd found a boy who could be Briant in neighboring Mexicali, sheriff's Lt. Rick Ells said.
Ells said a municipal police officer in Mexicali found the boy wandering the streets by himself late Thursday.
The officer initially thought the child was from the neighborhood and took him to several houses seeking his family before leaving him in child protective custody, Ells said.
Hoops did not know how long Briant had been left alone in Mexicali, but said he appeared unharmed and was in good spirits. His long curly locks had been shaved off.
Hoops said authorities believed they were closing in on at least two men suspected in the abduction when the boy was found.
"We identified some suspects," he said. "I can't specifically say if the suspects let him go or if he wandered away, but I have to think the suspects let him go."
Millan said the two men who burst into her modest, single-story home about 60 miles east of Los Angeles tied up the family and stole money and other property before leaving with her youngest child.