Harris County District Attorney Patricia Lykos' office announced today that they've successfully tracked down a boy who was taken away by his father as part of a messy domestic dispute four years ago.
"Lorena Perez had last hugged her son Isaiah, now 5, just before he disappeared in July 2006. They were able to embrace again for the first time when District Attorney's investigators and prosecutors reunited them on June 4," the DAs office announced, somewhat dramatically. "The boy's father Joseph Vaquera took the child without permission from Ms. Perez in 2006, but since no custody orders were in place, he could not be charged with a criminal offense."
Ah, but the kid's grandma could be charged, and was.
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"Grandmother Isabel Vaquera, 54, has been charged with kidnapping and tampering with governmental records due to her unwillingness to return the child when ordered to do so and falsifying the boy's birth certificate to enroll him in school," the office announced. "Each felony charge exposes her up to ten years in prison if convicted."
"Children should not be used as pawns in domestic disputes," prosecutor Jane Waters said. "We need to protect children, and sometimes to do that, a criminal charge needs to be filed."
The DAs office used Facebook to track down Isaiah. Prosecutors say the new wife of the boy's father recognized the picture and contacted authorities, which is likely to make for some awkward dinner conversations, you'd think.
Prosecutor Beth Barron and investigator Benjamin Cowey played key roles in the case, officials said.