January 5, 2011
Orange County District Attorney's Office
FULLERTON - A father and his parents were sentenced yesterday for the abduction of his 2 and 4-year-old sons from outside the Anaheim home where they lived with their mother. Abraham Fernandez, 23, and his father Louis Mendoza Fernandez, 52, both of Houston, pleaded guilty Jan. 4, 2011, to two felony counts of child abduction and were sentenced to 270 days in jail and three years of formal probation. Abraham Fernandez's mother, Elizabeth Fernandez, 42, Houston, pleaded guilty Jan. 4, 2011, to two felony counts of child abduction and was sentenced to 90 days in jail and three years of formal probation.
Co-defendants David Daniel Nicholas, 26, Monrovia, and Linda Fernandez, 29, Monrovia, are charged with two felony counts of kidnapping and two felony counts of child abduction. If convicted, they face a maximum sentence of nine years and eight months in state prison. Nicholas and Linda Fernandez are scheduled for continued arraignment Jan. 19, 2011, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-5, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
Abraham Fernandez has two sons with his former live-in girlfriend, from whom he is estranged. Approximately one year ago, Abraham Fernandez's former girlfriend moved to Anaheim from Texas with their two boys, 4-year-old John Doe #1 and 2-year-old John Doe #2.
At approximately 7:45 p.m. on Oct. 7, 2010, the two victims were in an alley with their mother near their apartment. Abraham Fernandez and his father Louis Fernandez drove into the alley in a Dodge Caravan and quickly stopped the car. Louis Fernandez, who had been driving, got out of the vehicle and grabbed John Doe #1, who was standing next to his mother. Louis Fernandez put John Doe #1 in the back of the van using the sliding side door.
Abraham Fernandez then got out of the van and took John Doe #2 from his screaming mother's arms. The defendants got back into the vehicle with the child and sped in reverse out of the alley, fleeing the scene. Witnesses called 911 and the Anaheim Police Department (APD) responded to the scene. An AMBER Alert was immediately issued for the silver van.
After the kidnapping, the defendants drove to Monrovia to hide at a relative's home. Nicholas and his wife Linda Fernandez, Abraham Fernandez's cousin, are accused of harboring the defendants at their Monrovia home knowing that the children had been illegally abducted and were being sought by police.
Nicholas is also accused of assisting in the child abduction by renting the van for Abraham and Louis Fernandez to use in the kidnapping. Early on the morning of Oct. 8, 2010, Nicholas is accused of returning the rented van to Ontario International Airport. Anaheim police officers contacted Nicholas the day after receiving information that the defendants and victims may be at his Monrovia home. Officers learned that the van had been returned and was no longer being used by the defendants.
Elizabeth Fernandez was charged Nov. 2, 2010, with two felony counts of kidnapping and two felony counts of child abduction for her role in knowingly withholding information on the whereabouts of the children from their mother.
Nicholas was arrested at his home on Oct. 10, 2010, for his role in the kidnapping. Linda Fernandez was arrested Oct. 11, 2010, at the home she shared with Nicholas for assisting the defendants after the abduction. A $500,000 arrest warrant was issued Oct. 12, 2010, for Abraham and Louis Fernandez, who had fled to Texas with the two children. Louis Fernandez surrendered to APD on Dec. 9, 2010, and Abraham Fernandez turned himself in to Texas authorities Oct. 26, 2010.
Deputy District Attorney Jim Bacin of the Child Abduction Unit is prosecuting this case.