The mother of a 2-year-old boy who was allegedly kidnapped by his father in a case that prompted a statewide Amber Alert on Friday made an emotional plea for his safe return.
Beatrice Lopez said through tears and in Spanish that she wanted her boy back at a press conference with police Friday afternoon.
The boy, Edwin Vargas, was allegedly kidnapped by his father from Boyle Heights early Friday.
His father, Abraham Vargas, 26, allegedly took the boy from Lopez, his ex-girlfriend, police said.
The kidnap happened while Lopez was loading her son into her car in front of her apartment complex in the 1000 block of Lorena Street at 6:30 a.m., said LAPD Capt. Gary Lopez.
The father had a restraining order, police said.
Police thought they caught a break about five and a half hours later when they spotted Lopez's 2004 Orange Nissan Quest minivan on Hubbard Street. The minivan was found about 5 miles away from the apartment where the boy was last seen.
But neither the boy nor his father were found at that location.
An Amber Alert was issued and California Highway Patrol and Border Patrol were notified, as police suspect Vargas may be heading for Mexico.
The suspect is described as wearing a red shirt and jeans. The little boy is wearing a red sweatshirt and blue sweatpants.
Lopez said Abraham Vargas threatened in the past to take the toddler from her several times in the two years since the couple broke up, saying he would take the boy to Veracruz, Mexico.
The suspect is considered armed and dangerous and should not be approached. Instead, his whereabouts should be reported to authorities.