ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The couple at the center of an Amber Alert for a 3-year-old Apopka girl was transferred Thursday from Leon County to Orange County to face charges.
Officers said Madeline Meija was taken Monday morning without force by her biological mother Tania Duarte, 19, and her mothers’ boyfriend Kevin Smith Olmedo-Velis, 19.
Duarte does not have custody of her daughter, according to police. Olmeda-Velis and Duarte are facing interference with custody charges.
They were arrested near Tallahassee Monday afternoon by Florida Highway Patrol troopers. Two other people in the car were turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Both 19-year-old suspects were booked into the Orange County Jail Thursday at 2:50 p.m.
Police said Madeline’s father mislead officers at first, saying his daughter abducted by strangers from the front yard.
Investigators said Lester Mejia was contacted by a relative while at work and informed him Duarte had taken the child.
Duarte does not have custody of their daughter.
Officers said Mejia called 911 but 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 thinking he would never see his daughter again so he told officers his daughter was abducted triggering a statewide Amber Alert until the girl was found near Tallahassee with her mother.
Investigators said Mejia did this in hopes it would assist in recovering his daughter.
Police said officers will continue to investigate the case.