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Missing boy, 3, found in Pasadena

A 3-year-old who had been the subject of a frantic search was found by a good Samaritan late Sunday night - more than 24 hours after his allegedly drunk father lost him after leaving a Pasadena wedding party.

Young Dylan Kurihara was found in his father’s car, sleeping and strapped in his car seat, by Pasadena resident Rowdy Metzger, 39.

Metzger joined the search because, “he said he had some kids about the same age and needed to get out and see if he could help,” said Pasadena police Cmdr. Darryl Qualls.

Police said the boy was a little thirsty but otherwise in excellent condition and was taken for a checkup to Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena.

“We’re all very happy,” Qualls said. “The volunteers are happy. The police officers are happy. The family is happy. This is a great for all of us.”

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The child and the car turned up at 10:40 p.m. Sunday in a parking lot under a commercial building in the 500 block of East Green Street, only two blocks away from where police arrested his father, Joe Kurihara, the night before for public intoxication and resisting arrest. At the time, officers did not know he had his child nearby. Nor did Kurihara mention it.

He later told detectives that he was so drunk that he had no memory of his child being with him.

Police had searched the area already but missed the car because it was not easily visible from behind a barrier.

Dozens of police officers and volunteers had been frantically combing Pasadena neighborhoods throughout a cold, wet Sunday night.

Dylan Kurihara was last seen leaving a wedding party with his father, a 23-year-old West Covina resident, Saturday evening.

Witnesses, including the boy’s mother, last saw the child with Kurihara at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday.

The parents, described by police as an “on-again, off-again” unmarried couple, had been attending wedding festivities at a Masonic lodge.

Father and son were seen exiting a parking structure at Cordova Avenue and Euclid Street in a 2001 Lexus RX 300.

The search for Dylan did not begin until Sunday morning, long after Pasadena police had arrested Kurihara about 10:35 p.m. Saturday.

They found him walking alone near the 300 block of East Green Street, about a quarter-mile from the parking lot near the wedding site, Pasadena police spokeswoman Janet Givens said.

When Dylan’s mother didn’t hear from Kurihara for hours, she began to call police stations and hospitals. She reached Pasadena police about 8 a.m.

“We checked our records and found the father was arrested for public intoxication,” said Qualls.

The mother’s call launched an intensive search.

Dogs traced the scent of the boy or his father to the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center, about two miles from the parking garage, officials said. But that turned out to be a blind lead.

Investigators also returned to the scene with Kurihara in hopes that he could retrace his steps or jog his memory.

That effort was futile, Givens said.

Kurihara has two other recent arrests on record, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Baldwin Park police arrested him at 9 p.m. last Thursday for an unspecified misdemeanor charge and released him at 4:39 a.m. The same department had arrested him on another unspecified misdemeanor charge at 7:28 a.m. on Aug. 10, releasing him about three hours later. For each offense the bail amount was set at $1,155.

Kurihara is currently being held at the Pasadena city jail in lieu of $10,000 bail on a charge of resisting arrest. But he faces an additional investigation related to abandoning his son.

At one point, officers wondered if the car was stolen and the child abducted. The FBI was standing by to assist in that scenario, Givens said.

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howard.blume@latimes.com


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