Skip to comments.Calif. Mom Finds Missing Children Using Facebook
Posted on 06/08/2010 8:33:24 AM PDT by MissTed
A Southern California mother whose two children were reported missing 15 years ago has tracked them down in Florida using Facebook.
The children's father, Faustino Utrera, took off with them in 1995 when they were ages 2 and 3, said San Bernardino Deputy District Attorney Kurt Rowley. The mother had found her daughter's Facebook profile after searching for her name on the social networking site in March, Rowley said.
An official said Saturday that the now 17-year-old girl and 16-year-old boy have been placed in the custody of the state of Florida.
"You can imagine the feelings she's having, not seeing her children for so many years and knowing they've bonded with another family," Rowley said about the mother. "But at the same time they're almost within her grasp."
The two teenagers are being cared for by a non-relative in Florida with whom the pair have an existing relationship, said Florida Department of Children and Families spokeswoman Elizabeth Arenas, who did not identify the mother.
She referred further questions to the woman's lawyer, who did not return a phone call.
Osceolla County Sheriff's deputies detained Utrera on an arrest warrant last month obtained by San Bernardino County prosecutors who were contacted by the missing children's mother, Rowley told the San Bernardino Sun.
He was charged with kidnapping and violating child custody orders.
Rowley said that when the daughter's profile was found on Facebook, she initially told her mother that she did not want to re-establish their relationship, but the contact helped prosecutors file two felony counts each of kidnapping and child abduction against Utrera.
Rowley said he expected Utrera to fight extradition at a July 17 hearing in Florida.
At least they are almost adults. It’s still going to be traumatic, but since they are staying with a non-relative, it might be even worse if they were little.
I have to wonder what further details are relevant to this story. Considering that the 17 year old daughter, didn’t want to go live with the mother, why the mother didn’t just leave them alone. I know the father technically “kidnapped” his own children 15 years before, but, well, this seems like it can’t be productive at this point.
I’m open to hear others’ thoughts though too. Flame on :)
“almost within her grasp.”
That says it all for me...And why is the mother not named, or did I miss that?
On the one hand, I’m glad the Mom has found her children.
But on the other hand....
What does it say about Facebook and the complete lack of security and privacy that allows strangers to know intimate details about minor children?
That has to do with the profile settings, but I agree, the defaults should all be to private in my opinion, not public.
Maybe she was a drug using freak or maybe he just wanted to take the kids to hurt her. Doesn't appear as if she ever gave up trying to find them though.
I don’t disagree with her being upset, maybe she wants closure. I disagree with the complete interruption of the two children’s lives, on the basis that she was supposed to have the children and now doesn’t.
It seems more, than glancingly, like the Solomon baby dispute... “I’d rather completely disrupt their way of life, thrown into turmoil, and hassle my ‘children’ who are basically grown adults (who—at least one—have said they don’t want a relationship with me), for their own good, and so we can have a fmaily I never got.” After all, they are almost within her unnamed “grasp.”
And I don;t support this man breaking the law. This situation is only being made worse and worse. The unnamed woman, is as good as a stranger now to the children, there is no way that this event can will bring them closer together. She made contact, and was rejected, and THEN, went after the children forcibly, as far as we can tell.
So this is just going to make a bad situation exponentially worse.
“Considering that the 17 year old daughter, didnt want to go live with the mother, why the mother didnt just leave them alone.”
Unbelievable! You would wash your hands of your kids if they were kidnapped and brainwashed? Really? Have you ever heard of Stockholm syndrome? And the 17 year old daughter gets to decide for her brother?
One guarantee is that he father didn’t ever tell the kids the truth about why they didn’t have a mother. Either he lied and said she abandoned them, or he said she died, or he said horrible things about her making them think she was a monster. The father is a manipulative SOB. He knows better than the courts, and the law doesn’t apply to him.
I hope his prison sentence for kidnapping lasts at least as long as the sentence the kids mother served. For 15 years she was in an emotional prison of his making. Not knowing if the kids were safe, cared for, fed. Not getting to see them, talk to them, hug them. And now they hate her, by no fault of hers.
OK...if the children had been kidnapped by a complete stranger, would you feel any different?
Your post is over-reaching, over-emotional, and merely conjecture. And these kids will only continue to suffer for attitudes like that.
You’re entitled to you opinion, but it doesnt change that fact.
I’m not willing to make a sweeping globalization as to what I would feel differently about, and to what extent, but, yes, I would feel differently.
Foremost because a man has a responsibility to care for his own children, as in evidenced in that he would be required to pay child support, without having custody. However, I’m not willing to debate the nitty gritty of divorce law, and the inherent corruption there in. It would take too long.
That the man is guilty of violating a court order, we can agree upon. I’m not for jail-time for anyone. It’s not effective for deterrent or rehabilitation, and certainly doesn’t recompense victims, it’s only used for vengeance (These are the 4 purposes of law enforcement if you do not know). I’m not ambiguous on that point. Most people are only thinking of the revenge portion of law enforcement, and thus, that would compound the issue most are likely to bring up when arguing.
Jail time serves little purpose, and I would want to know the state of the children, before handing out a sentence. Still, I will maintain that this woman’s actions, like her baby’s daddy’s before her, only futher will wreak havoc in the children’s lives.
This thread has already been done. There is a lot of emotion behind the posts.
“Your post is over-reaching, over-emotional, and merely conjecture. And these kids will only continue to suffer for attitudes like that.”
Now you get to prove that my post is over-reaching, over-emotional and conjecture.
Do you believe for one minute that he ever told the kids the truth? Do you believe that he ever told the kids that he kidnapped them? Don’t you think that the kids would have searched out their mother? How about when they were disciplined by Daddy, and they believed it to be unfair. Don’t you think they would have sought out their mother? Why didn’t they search her out? Because they either believed her to be dead, or a monster.
Have you ever seen the lengths that adoptees go to in searching for birth parents that gave them up willingly?
If you knew that you had a parent that you were stolen from and that spent 15 years searching from you, because she loves you, wouldn’t you seek her out?
Correction, Rehabilitation, Deterrence, Restitution and Revenge are the four purposes of the Criminal “justice” system, not law enforcement, I wanted to clarify that.
I don’t need to prove it. The post was off the wall in the first place. Unless you can substantiate any of the claims you initially made like how the dad made a mental “prision” for the mom, and the like, then don’t bother. You have an agenda to push, and it’s one based upon your own emotions, and not mine.
“Correction, Rehabilitation, Deterrence, Restitution and Revenge “
Nation of laws, justice, etc.
You advocate for a “slippery slope.”
The punishment dished out to this self-important pile of excrement has to serve as a deterrant to others.
But to answer you, I was adopted by one parent. And I did spend years searching for my other parent (my mother had custody).
And at the age of 16, I went and met my father. However, like these children, I already had a life, and my biological father and I agreed that it would be appropriate to not change the situation, even though my mother had not been forthcoming with me, and had hidden his attemptes to contact me.
The problem is that I can look at this situation with greater objectivity, because I realize that emotions, no matter how powerful, of one party, can still be to the detriment of all parties involved. There is a phrase, “Two wrongs don’t make a right.” I hope you can see that. Because I have relatives (so, I know firsthand, besides in theory) who were forced to go back and live with a parent who they did not want to live with, at the receiving parent’s request, and no good came out of it. The children will only resent a parent coming back on scene years later, if they lock up the father at the same time. I didn’t say the man shouldn’t have to face “Justice,” but I am saying that this won’t give the kids any.
“Correction,” is not a principle of Criminal Justice, it’s being used as a conjunction. LOL.
The fact of the matter is that Jail does not serve as a deterrent, which is why states now have 3 strikes laws. Because the previous two times of being convicted did not deter them, and doesn’t deter others, so they lock them up indefinitely.
Not quite correct, after 15 years she finally found her "kidnapped" children and had the authorities legally take the first steps in having them returned to her.......
It’s funny how you get to fill in the blanks, but we don’t. Seriously...using your logic, any kidnapped children that are found later should be left alone so not to interrupt their current lives. I guess Elizabeth Smart should still be with Brian Mitchell huh?
No telling what they've been told and they are just teenagers!
If I were the mother...I would be fighting the ex-husband like an angry bear!
P.S. I never advocated for a nation without laws or justice. Jail and fines have become a “One size fits all” “justice” system that isn’t working. The punishment MUST fit the crime, or people don’t learn. If you’re raised a child, it’s akin to a spanking for evrything they’ve done wrong, it doesn’t work on children either. They just go where you can’t see them and do it more. And sadly, sometimes, they blow your head off in the night too. It simply doesn’t work.
Jail does serve as a deterrant to others, if the trial gets a proper level of coverage.
The facts say that the ‘children’ have not been normally socialized, and will not be likely to lead normal lives. Any further contact between them and this sperm donor should be considered unacceptable, and he needs about 50 years in solitary to assure that.
You seem to be typical of the “class of ‘08” here.
Well, since you’re going to make up words to put in my mouth, feel content with talking to yourself too. See you around.
“If I were the mother...I would be fighting the ex-husband like an angry bear!”
And justly so!
Sperm donor’s don’t take care of their children. And there are not enough fines on criminals in the world to pay for our prison system.
And someone capable of intelligent reasoning doesn’t need to resort to trying to cliam the first date of posting on FreeRepublic as a means of discrediting a valid point. Shame on you.
I found this article which proves that the children were indeed lied to by their father.
“Utrera called Segala a few days after he vanished to tell her that he and their children were in Mexico and that she would never see her son and daughter again.
Those words apparently held true until March, when Segala used the social networking Web site Facebook to search for her children’s names. That search led to a break in the case when she found her daughter’s Facebook profile.
Segala began a conversation with her daughter and provided the young woman with an old family photo showing both parents and children. Segala also told the child she had not seen for 15 years that she wanted to renew their relationship, but the daughter replied that she was happy in her current living arrangements and had been told bad things about her mother.
“According to the Facebook conversations, they regarded another woman as their mother,”
The problem that you aren’t seeing is that one day the pendulum will swing the other way.
This gender warfare has to stop, before No one will get married or have children for fear of what will happen to them. This is the exact type of [anti]reasoning (that which is on this thread) which is why young people refuse to get, and remain married.
Rather than isolating a single criminal behavior, it’s “The man this,” “the sperm donor” that. It’s pathetic, and everyone advocating it will one day rue the day they allowed themselves to be manipulated thusly. These children, no doubt, already do.
No where does that say that he told them anythign untrue. “Bad things” isn’t an adequate argument to make that point.
No where does that say that he told them anything TRUE!
No where does that say that he told them anythign untrue.
For the children to think that a stranger was their mother there would have had to be lies told...
According to the Facebook conversations, they regarded another woman as their mother,
You’ve never hear the phrase “Step mother”? Don’t bother responding. BEcause you still wouldn’t have a point. To regard someone else as one’s mother is not synonymous with not knowing that she is not your birth mother. There is no evidence to make the point that you are implying exists.
Is “technically kidnapped kinda like “technically raped”?
Decide for yourself (A jury should have to). Kidnap: (tr) to carry off and hold (a person), usually for ransom
All of your reasoning and arguments are so much BS.
Long before gay people wanted to marry, straights were resisting marriage by just living together.
If anybody has demeaned marriage it's the heteros who didn't want the committment of a relationship but have kids outside of marriage. Those who marry get divorced at the drop of a hat with little regard to how their children are affected.
This is the fourth wedding for Rush! Luckily, there haven't been children.
Society is a mess...but it can't all be blamed on gay people!
I doubt that whoever sang at Rush's wedding will affect society one way or another...much less make it worse!
Youve never hear the phrase Step mother?
the term “stepmother” was not used....
According to the Facebook conversations, they regarded another woman as their MOTHER,
if the children had known that the stranger was NOT their real mother, ...
the Facebook would have said “called” or pretened” or accepted”
However “considered” means they “believed” or thought” or “were convinced” or “even “deceived” into thinking she was their own real mother...
after all the children were only 2 and 3 when their father stol,e them awayu from their real mother...
If their real mother was considered unfir by the courts the local law enforcement would not have cooperated with her to get them back to HER but would have just worked independently and arrested him and would not have included her...
As it is she is gouing to get her children back...
If the daughter at age 17 had not wanted to communicate with her real mother she would not have answered Mom in the first place...
However an on going conversation was started and photos were exchanged...
I think it was the “dad” who found out about the Facebook exchange, and fearing that he would be exposed and caught and jailed he cut off the connection...
However Mom had already contacted the local law enforcement..
Good for Mom...
Good for the children...
Dad will go to jail where he belongs...
Mom and children are out of the prison they have been in for the past 15 years...
The children have been lied to for 15 years by “dad”
That does not say much about his honesty level...
“Have you not noticed...
Long before gay people wanted to marry, straights were resisting marriage by just living together.”
I have noticed. In fact, it’s only going to get worse. I know of a man and woman (horrible people both, I only know them through someone else fortunately), who were married until recently and were going through the divorce process. During that time, the woman threatened the man by saying if she didn’t get sole custody, she’d accuse hiim of child abuse. He countered that if she tried, they’d have a drug test court ordered.
In my opinion the children were in a lose-lose situation (The man had previously served several years for nearly killing someone, and unsuprisingly, still was as violent as ever, just hadn’t been arrested again). The problem is, that unless he had been able to counter with a drug test, that woman would have gotten the children, and they would have been raised in a horrible, dangerous home (I’ll add she used cocaine).
It should not be such an easy or convenient for a woman to make up a story, and get shildren, anymor ethan one hundred years ago, a man being able to chase another woman, and take the children, leaving the woman homeless. The pendulum keeps swinging and will swing farther and farther. The government is not on a “side.” And the founder of these wicked traditions, Satan himself, takes no prisoners. He will oppress men and women alike.
People have got to stop this nonsense. Because our divorce rate is higher than ever, and people are waiting to be older and older. This is what the left, and Satan (the leftist of all) want.
Actually, thet’s five purposes, the way you have annunciated them.
I”m sure her ex filled their heads with all sorts of stories about her that she will have to over come to reaquaint therself with her children. Very sad situation she has to deal with but very happy she fianlly found them.
See post #22. I only stated 4, “Correction” is a conjunction, I was correcting my previous post. :)
Ah. I would have expected to see a colon separating it from the comma-separated list then.
BTW - I disagree with your viewpoint that it is in the best interest of the child to disallow the mother to reinsert herself in their lives. She was torn out of their lives illegally. Your solution means that the justice system needs to support that illegal act, on the basis that a child who was deprived of knowledge of her mother doesn’t know her mother.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.