Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
January 25, 2011
Susan Kang Schroeder
AUNT AND UNCLE SENTENCED FOR ROLE INABDUCTION OF 2 AND 4-YEAR-OLD NEPHEWS
*The victims’ father and paternal grandparents have also been convicted in this case
SANTA ANA – A married couple was convicted today for their role in the abduction of their 2 and 4-year-old nephews from outside their Anaheim home. David Daniel Nicholas, 26, and Linda Fernandez, 29, both of Monrovia, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of child abduction and were sentenced to 90 days in jail and three years of formal probation.
The victims’ father and paternal grandparents were convicted in this case Jan. 4, 2011. Abraham Fernandez, 23, and his father Louis Mendoza Fernandez, 52, both of Houston, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of child abduction and were sentenced to 270 days in jail and three years of formal probation. Elizabeth Fernandez, 42, Houston, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of child abduction and was sentenced to 90 days in jail and three years of formal probation.
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, harbored the defendants at their Monrovia home knowing that the children had been illegally abducted and were being sought by police.
Nicholas assisted 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 returned 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.
Nicholas was arrested at his home on Oct. 10, 2010. Linda Fernandez was arrested Oct. 11, 2010, at the home she shared with Nicholas. 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. Elizabeth Fernandez was charged Nov. 2, 2010, for her role in knowingly withholding information on the whereabouts of the children from their mother.