MOTHER ARRESTED IN NEW MEXICO AFTER ABDUCTING SICK BABY FROM ORANGE COUNTY CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

OCDASeal

Orange County District Attorney
Press Release


Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701

For Immediate Release
 
         

 


May 15, 2008

Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
Office: 714-347-8408
Cell: 714-292-2718

Farrah Emami
Spokesperson
Office: 714-347-8405
Cell: 714-323-4486

MOTHER ARRESTED IN NEW MEXICO AFTER ABDUCTING SICK BABY FROM ORANGE
COUNTY CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

 

SANTA ANA – A mother accused of abducting her three children while her 10-month-old son was in the hospital with pneumonia has been arrested in New Mexico. Ida Maribel Torres, 33, Radcliff, Ky, was detained at approximately 1:00 p.m. after taking her baby from the Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) less than 24 hours earlier. Ida Torres was charged this afternoon with three felony counts of child abduction and one felony count of child endangerment and faces a maximum sentence of eight years in state prison. The People are asking that Ida Torres be held on a $250,000 warrant. She will face extradition proceedings in New Mexico. The three children are in the custody of New Mexico social services.

 

At approximately 4:00 p.m. yesterday, May 14, 2008, Ida Torres is accused of taking her sick 10-month-old son and two daughters, ages 5 and 11, and fleeing CHOC. The baby had been admitted to the hospital on May 10, 2008 for a viral asthma infection and was still undergoing treatment.  Ida Torres took the three children from CHOC without bringing any medication for the sick baby. The children’s father, who was out of the room when Ida Torres took the children, has primary custody. Ida Torres has secondary custody with rights to visitation every other weekend.

 

Ida Torres can be seen on a hospital surveillance video fleeing the hospital with her three children and an adult male. The adult male is believed to be Ida’s Torres’ cousin, Joel Torres, 33, who arrived in Orange County from Kentucky on May 13, 2008. Ida Torres, a former Fountain Valley resident, moved to Kentucky in January 2008 and is believed to have been living with Joel Torres.

 

Ida Torres was driving a 2008 silver Chrysler Sebring with license plate number 6AHA682. The car was rented from John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana. An Amber Alert was issued and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children was contacted. Joel Torres called the Orange Police Department today after officers made several attempts to reach him on his cell phone. Investigators obtained information about the location of Ida and Joel Torres and the children and contacted New Mexico State Police, who detained the defendant shortly after receiving the call from Orange County.

 

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office and Orange Police Department investigated this case. Deputy District Attorney Jim Bacin of the Child Abduction Unit is prosecuting this case.