Crime

Father accused of taking 2-year-old, arson surrenders to authorities

Amber Alert canceled for La Mesa boy

La Mesa family speaks out after home...

La Mesa, NM - A man accused of setting fire to home of his son's grandparents and fleeing with the boy turned himself in, Doña Ana County Sheriff's deputies said.

A warrant was issued Monday evening for the arrest of 23-year-old Sergio Guadalupe following an Amber Alert for his 2-year-old son Ethan. The boy was found safe Monday night.

Jacquez  turned himself at the main station of the Doña Ana County Sheriff's Department before 2 p.m. Tuesday. Deputies said Jacquez was accompanied by his attorney and is cooperating fully with the investigation.

The Amber Alert was canceled late Monday after 2-year-old Ethan Jacquez was found safe. Doña Ana County Sheriff's deputies told ABC-7 the boy was left with his paternal grandfather in Anthony, N.M. He is said to be in good health and was not harmed.

DASO and federal authorities believed Jacquez had fled to Mexico. On Monday afternoon, Jacquez allegedly took his son from the boy's maternal grandparents' home on the 100 block of Powell in La Mesa, N.M.

Authorities said the grandfather tried to stop Jacquez from taking Ethan. Jacquez allegedly hit the man repeatedly, doused the inside of the mobile home with gasoline and set it on fire.  Doña Ana County fire officials confirmed the home is a total loss.  A Go Gund Me account has been set up to help the family rebuild.

The smoke in the mobile home forced the grandmother and the boy out of the home. Jacquez allegedly pushed the woman, took the boy and stole the grandparents' pickup.

"He start hitting me and hitting me and I fell to the ground. He start kicking me and kicked me a couple times and he went to get the gallon of gasoline and throw it at me," said Carlos Jurado, Ethan's maternal grandfather.

"He (Jacquez) has a really bad temper, " said Cynthia Jurado, Ethan's maternal grandmother. "I feared he could be violent but I never thought he would be capable of doing this."

Border Patrol officials told sheriff's deputies the truck was picked up on a license plate reader at the Santa Teresa Port of Entry on Monday night.

Jacquez faces several charges, including arson, aggravated battery, unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, abuse of a child and battery.
 
Doña Ana County Sheriff's spokeswoman Kelly Jameson told ABC-7 deputies originally responded to a call about a fire and a car crash about 1 p.m. She said it wasn't until deputies arrived on scene that they learned a 2-year-old boy had been taken by his father. 

Jameson said Ethan's mother and father do not have a parenting plan in place to determine who has custody of Ethan. 

"When our deputies first arrived it was our opinion and it was factual that the father had a right to take the child," Jameson said. 
 
But Jameson said the violent matter in which the child was taken, prompted authorities to issue an Amber Alert. 

Jameson said New Mexico State Police is the agency that issues Amber Alerts. She said there is also specific criteria the sheriff's office must file before one is issued. 

"State police had a glitch with their system that required them to go outside to the national center for missing and exploited children to get that alert done," Jameson said. 

"The Amber Alert system, its primary function is for stranger abdication. When you have a child that's taken by its biological parent there are several other criteria that must be met, unfortunately we could not make that any sooner then when we did Monday afternoon," Jameson added. 

Jameson added the timeline of what happened between when Ethan was allegedly taken and when he was found in Anthony is still fuzzy. She said when Ethan was found at Jacquez's parents house in Anthony, the grandmother told deputies he had been there for several hours. 

"When our deputies responded to pick up the boy we were told the boy had been there for several hours, so we also have several unanswered questions and several holes in the time line," Jameson said.

Jameson added they believe Jacquez crossed the border at least two times during the time Ethan was missing, because the license plate of the truck Jacquez was driving in showed up in the system twice. 

"We are working with officials on the border to find out what the system is and in what timeframe the license plate readers are relaying information to people that can contact us," Jameson said. 
 
 

 


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