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Amber Alert father who abducted son surrenders to authorities, deputies say

J.R. Oppenheim, Stefan Dill and Kasia Gregorczyk
January 04, 2017 06:44 AM

The 23-year-old father who abducted his son Monday afternoon turned himself into law enforcement officers, according to the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department.

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Public Information Officer Kelly Jameson said Sergio Guadalupe Jacquez arrived at the sheriff’s department office before 2 p.m. Tuesday.  On Monday, authorities say he took his 2-year-old son Ethan from his grandparents’ home in La Mesa. His lawyer was with Jacquez when he turned himself in

Jameson said Jacquez is cooperating with detectives.

“I'm still in shock. I can't believe this is actually going on,” said Cynthia Juardo, Ethan’s mother. “It's just something really hard to believe."

Click here to watch Joy Wang's report on KOB Eyewitness News 4 at 10

Sheriff’s deputies responded to the 100 block of Powell in La Mesa at 1:06 p.m. Monday in reference to a structure fire and a two-vehicle crash, Jameson said. Jameson said the first deputy arrived at the scene at 1:21 p.m., discovering a double-wide mobile home engulfed in flame. Jameson said the deputy learned of an altercation between Jacquez and 59-year-old Carlos Jurado, Ethan's maternal grandfather.

Detectives learned that Ethan's mother, Cynthia, told her father Carlos Jurado to not allow Ethan to leave with Jacquez, according to Jameson. Carlos Jurado told deputies Jacquez got angry, allegedly hit him in the face, and retrieved a container of gasoline from his vehicle. He also told deputies Jacquez then poured the gasoline on him and on the south entrance of the home. Jacquez then allegedly ignited the gasoline on the house.

Carlos Jurado told detectives he managed to reach a neighbor's house in Jacquez’s car to call police, Jameson said.

Carlos Jurado’s wife told detectives she heard Jacquez break through a window of the home, Jameson said. She said the grandmother and Ethan left the house to avoid the smoke when Jacquez pushed her to the ground and took the boy. 

“He started beating my dad because he wouldn't let him get my son, and that's when he just went crazy and did all that stuff,” Cynthia Juardo said.

After returning from the neighbor's house, Carlos Jurado told deputies he saw Jacquez leave in his truck but the vehicles crashed when he tried to block Jacquez from leaving.

It prompted an Amber Alert for Ethan Jacquez. Jameson said there was a glitch in the Amber Alert reporting system and the notification was sent through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Jameson said law enforcement was alerted at approximately 6 p.m. with the Amber Alert coming roughly one hour later.

Border officials told detectives a license plate reader spotted the stolen truck at the Santa Teresa Port of Entry some time before 4 p.m., Jameson said.

After 10 p.m. Monday, detectives learned Ethan Jacquez was at the home of Jacquez’s mother in Anthony. According to family members, Jacquez dropped the boy off there around three hours earlier. Deputies returned Ethan to his mother Monday night.

Jacquez is charged with arson (more than $20,000), aggravated burglary, unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, abuse of a child, and battery. A judge set his bond at $100,000 cash.

In the five years Cynthia Jurado has known him, she said Jacquez never acted out like this. According to her, they were separated the last three months but spoke the night before he allegedly kidnapped Ethan.

“I went with him in his car and we were talking and then just out of nowhere he punches me,” she said.

Even after everything he's accused of doing and after Ethan was already back in her custody, Jacquez reached out to Cynthia Juardo. 

“I asked him, ‘Why would you do this,’” she said. “I don't understand how he could, how he could have done this and he just said he was sorry and he wanted to turn himself in.”

According to fire officials, the Jurados’ uninsured mobile home was a total loss. The couple is reportedly staying with family. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with expenses associated with the loss of the mobile home. 

Neighbors have organized a drop off location for clothing, toys, blankets and any other donations at:

Casa de mi Alma

920 North Alameda Las Cruces

A La Mesa church has organized a fundraiser as well:

Jan. 20-21

San Jose church in La Mesa

Lunch and dinner Friday

All day on Saturday

All proceeds will go to the family.

Credits

J.R. Oppenheim, Stefan Dill and Kasia Gregorczyk

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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