Boyle Heights kidnap suspect, son found at Texas birthday party

Minivan found
LAPD officers stand by the minivan found empty in East L.A. Authorities believe the van was stolen by a man suspected of kidnapping his 2-year-old son on May 23.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

A man and the 2-year-old son he is suspected of kidnapping nearly three months ago from Boyle Heights were found Thursday night in Texas, police said.

Members of the U.S. Marshals Task Force took Abraham Vargas, 27, into custody after they found him and his son, Edwin Vargas, attending a birthday party at a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant in Dallas, said LAPD Lt. Robert Miles of the Hollenback Division.

The boy’s mother, he said, is “happy” and is “excited her boy’s going to be back.”

A relative of the mother plans to fly to Texas on Friday night to bring Edwin home.


“It’s a good feeling,” Miles said.

Abraham Vargas had been living in an apartment in Texas, but detectives were unclear if he had established it as his permanent home.

He is scheduled to appear Monday in a Texas court for a hearing. It was unclear whether he would waive extradition.

Police said that on May 23, Abraham Vargas approached the child’s mother, who had legal custody of him, while she was standing near her minivan in the 1000 block of Lorena Street in Boyle Heights.


He pushed the mother away, grabbed the keys and drove off in the minivan with Edwin inside.

The mother told police she had a restraining order against Abraham Vargas, who was also her ex-boyfriend and the boy’s biological father.

At the time, police believed he was headed to the Mexico border, prompting Los Angeles city officials to offer a $50,000 reward for information leading to his arrest and conviction.

An Amber Alert was also issued, asking the public to look for the father and son as well as the missing minivan. About five hours after the alert went out, the empty minivan was found on a street in Los Angeles.

Although a reward was offered, no one came foward, Miles said.

The boy’s mother, however, provided information that helped detectives find Abraham Vargas, he said.

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