Authorities in Mexico are searching for a Chula Vista mother accused of kidnapping her 2-month-old son from a recovery center and fleeing with the infant across the U.S.-Mexico border.
The Baja California agency, Procuraduria General de Justicia del Estado, issued an Amber Alert for the infant, Maximus Garcia, and his mother, Erika Ramos Saucedo, 36. Saucedo does not have legal custody of her son.
The National City Police Department (NCPD) said the case is being investigated as a parental abduction. Maximus was dropped off by Child Protective Services (CPS) at the South Bay Womens Recovery Center located at 2414 Hoover Ave. in National City Tuesday for a supervised visit with Saucedo.
Police said the boy was left alone with the mother, unsupervised. Saucedo then took her son and fled in her car.
NBC 7 spoke with Jose Garcia, the father of the baby, who said that the CPS staffer had been distracted with other children in a car so Maximus was left unattended with Saucedo.
"It's not just my son, there are other kids in danger if there is another mother who is really unstable like my ex-girlfriend," Garcia said.
By 9:42 a.m., Saucedo and the baby boy were seen leaving the U.S. and entering Mexico via the San Ysidro Port of Entry, the NCPD confirmed.
Child Protective Services reported the abduction to the NCPD at 11:53 a.m. Tuesday, more than two hours after Maximus was taken.
"I guess one of the workers who transported my son called for authorization from another CPS working instead of calling 911," Garcia said.
Several agencies are involved in the case involving the baby and Saucedo, including Mexican authorities, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the San Diego County District Attorney’s Missing and Abducted Children Unit.
The NCPD said the California Highway Patrol was contacted to issue an Amber Alert in San Diego County. However, since the mother and baby crossed into Mexico, the Amber Alert was not granted locally.
The agent had also called a supervisor prior to calling 911, giving time for his ex-girlfriend to take the baby across the border, he added.
"If they did a 911 call, they would’ve had highway patrol blockade the entrance to Mexico and we could’ve saved my son from being kidnapped," Garcia said.
The investigation now primarily continues in Mexico.
On Thursday, the Procuraduria General de Justicia del Estado posted a notice on its Facebook page saying officials are still searching for Saucedo and Maximus. The agency said Saucedo’s car is a white Suzuki with the California license plate 7PPW607.
Procuraduria General de Justicia del Estado said Saucedo had called Maximus’ father, allegedly threatening to kill herself because she doesn’t have any money. The agency said the “Alerta Amber” was issued in Mexico for fear of Saucedo harming herself and the child. Garcia told the agency Saucedo allegedly uses drugs, which is part of the reason she does not have custody of their son.
Garcia told NBC 7 that he's reached out to CPS in San Diego several times but can never get through.
"No, there's no urgency. I don’t see no urgency on my son's matter even though [Saucedo] commented she's going to hurt herself and hurt my son," he said.
"Every second counts," Garcia added. "And to them, they get to go home at 5 and I continue on the streets of Tijuana looking for my son. I don’t know where my son’s at, so it’s hard."
He added that CPS staffers need better training so that other kids aren't put in harm's way, like his son.
Saucedo and Maximus are believed to be in Tijuana.
The Mexican agency's alert described Maximus as having short, brown hair and dark-colored eyes. The infant weighs about 17 pounds and is approximately 19.5 inches tall. Anyone with information can contact Mexican authorities.
NBC 7 reached out to San Diego CPS for further information on this case, including why the infant was left unsupervised.
Michael Workman, of the San Diego County Communications Office, released this statement:
"We don’t have details at this time. We can confirm the baby was taken by his mother. Local law enforcement says they fled to Mexico. The main priority at this time is to get the child back safely. The County will investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident."