San Juan, PR – The U.S. Marshals and local law enforcement in Puerto Rico on Monday arrested two Georgia residents and recovered a child missing since September.
For the past two months, the U.S. Marshals Service in Puerto Rico has been working to find a missing 2-year-old child kidnaped by his noncustodial father.
London Stephens picked up his son from a daycare facility in Oakwood, Georgia, on Sept. 28 and failed to return him to the facility on Oct. 3 as agreed to by the child’s mother. After subsequent negotiations with Stephens to return the child were unsuccessful the child’s mother contacted the Oakwood Police Department to report the incident.
On Oct. 28 a felony kidnap warrant was issued for Stephens out of Hall County, Georgia. The U.S. Marshals Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force in Atlanta initiated an investigation and determined Stephens had fled Georgia and traveled to Puerto Rico. The SERFTF sent a collateral lead to the USMS Puerto Rico Violent Offenders Task Force to locate and arrest Stephens on the outstanding warrant and recover the critically missing child.
During their investigation members of the PRVOTF discovered Stephens had been in and out of numerous homeless shelters and AIRBNBs around the northern part of Puerto Rico with his girlfriend Jordin Nuble-Myer and the child.
The USMS in Puerto Rico coordinated with local and state police to disseminate information all over the island to recover the minor and apprehend the fugitive.
Puerto Rico state police arrested Stephens at approximately 8 p.m. Monday in Loiza in relation to a home invasion there. During the investigation following Stephens’ arrest police learned Nuble-Myer was at a hotel in Condado, San Juan, and contacted the USMS PRVOTF who, upon arriving in the hotel lobby, identified the woman and the missing child. When task force members approached her and requested she turn over the child, she complied and was taken into custody.
The USMS turned over custody of the child to a Family and Child Services social worker, then contacted the Atlanta authorities to notify the family members there.
The child’s mother arrived in Puerto Rico today.
“This case illustrates the excellent relationships the Marshals have with their state and local partner agencies,” said U.S. Marshal for the District of Puerto Wilmer Ocasio-Ibarra. “We are fully committed to assisting federal, state, and local agencies with locating and recovering endangered missing children, in addition to our primary fugitive apprehension mission. Our message to missing children and their families is that we will never stop looking for you.”
In May 2015, the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (JVTA) was passed and clarified the USMS’ discretionary authority to support law enforcement requests for assistance on any missing child cases. As such, the USMS assists state, local, and other federal law enforcement agencies, upon request, in locating and recovering missing children, while focusing agency resources on “critically missing child” cases – those that involve a suspected crime of violence or where factors are identified by law enforcement that indicates an elevated risk to a missing child.