77ºF

FHP releases video of investigators arresting amber alert suspects

Olmeda-Velis and Duarte are facing interference with custody charges

APOPKA, Fla. – The Florida Highway Patrol released a video of investigators arresting the suspects at the center of an Amber Alert for 3-year-old Madeline Mejia.

Apopka police said the Amber Alert was issued after information provided by her father.

Investigators found the suspect vehicle on Interstate 10 in Tallahassee.

Video from FHP shows investigators taking four people into custody.

[RELATED: Father, 3-year-old girl reunited after Amber Alert abduction | 3-year-old Apopka girl at center of Amber Alert found in Tallahassee]

Madeline was found safe and sound.

Officers said Madeline was taken by her biological mother Tania Duarte and her mothers’ boyfriend Kevin Smith Olmedo-Velis without force.

Duarte does not have custody of her daughter, according to police.

Olmeda-Velis and Duarte are facing interference with custody charges.

Two other people in the car were turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Police said Madeline’s father mislead officers at first.

Investigators said Lester Mejia was contacted by a relative while at work and informed him Duarte had taken the child.

Officers said Mejia called 911 while going back to Apopka from his work.

Authorities said Mejia was allegedly told by an unknown dispatcher there was no crime if the mother has the child.

Police said this scared Mejia into him thinking he would never see his daughter again so he told officers his daughter was abducted.

Investigators said he did this in hopes it would assist in recovering his daughter.

Officers said he did inform police he has custody and Duarte does not have custody.

Police said officers will continue to investigate the case.


About the Author: