Police are investigating a complicated alleged kidnapping of a 2-year-old boy from a rural dairy farm in Pope County in Minnesota.
Officials sent out an AMBER alert on Thursday after a boy disappeared from his parents' home earlier that morning. Police said the kidnapper left a note apologizing in Spanish and in English and saying that there had been a prior plan to take the child.
Police found footprints outside the child's bedroom window and tried to use a tracking dog to follow the boy's scent, but the trail went cold one street away, the complaint said.
The mother told police that a man named "Benigno Ramirez" had appeared "very fond of her son, frequently gave them rides, bought him things, hugged him and took photos with him," and posted the photographs to Facebook before deleting them.
She also said Ramirez had asked her to date him but that she had refused.
Police later received a tip about a man named Victor Ramirez Alvarez who had been seen with a child fitting the description of the missing boy. The phone number they obtained for Alvarez also matched the phone number for Ramirez they had received from the boy's mother.
When investigators went to the residence of Ramirez, they did not find the boy, but they found clothing fitting the description of clothing that the boy had worn before disappearing.
Then police received a report from a woman who said she found a small boy in a car seat in her garage. It was about ten hours since the child had been first found missing.
Police responded and said the boy had been unharmed.
The complaint against Alvarez said that he had confessed to police to the abduction and told them he had left the boy at a home of a person he knew.
The Pope County Attorney's Office has charged the man with kidnapping and his bond was set at $1 million without conditions or $500,000 with conditions.
He faces up to 20 years in prison and a $35,000 fine if found guilty of the kidnapping charge. He also faces an additional charge of "Depriving another of custodial or parental rights."
Authorities said the investigation is ongoing.
Here's a local news report about the incident:
Amber Alert investigation continues despite child found safe I KMSP FOX 9www.youtube.com