RIALTO (CBSLA.com) — Police rescued a 2-year-old Rialto boy who was allegedly abducted by his birth mother and her boyfriend with the help of a citizen who followed one of the suspects after seeing an Amber Alert.

The kidnapping reportedly happened at a McDonald’s at 111 W. Baseline Road in Rialto.

Elijah Cardenas and his 1-year-old sister were brought to the restaurant by their foster parents for a court-ordered visitation with Elijah’s birth mother, Stacey Patterson.

At some point, Patterson, 21, grabbed Elijah and fled in a Dodge Ram pickup truck with her boyfriend, 53-year-old James Krost.

A motorist spotted Krost’s truck on the freeway after seeing an Amber Alert with the vehicle’s description.

The driver called 911 and followed Krost to Corona.

The tip led police to the 53-year-old, who told them Patterson and Elijah were at a Pomona hotel.

“We had information that she had a problem with controlled substances, specifically methamphetamine. It’s not uncommon for methamphetamine addicts to frequent hotels, which led our investigators there,” said Capt. Randy De Anda from the Rialto Police Department.

Police arrested Patterson without incident. Elijah was found safe and unharmed.

Authorities said all thanks go to the Amber Alert.

“It opened the eyes of the public to pay attention to their surroundings. And the criticalness of locating the child and locating the child unharmed,” said De Anda.

Patterson and Krost were booked on child endangerment and child abduction charges.


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