Mexican police find Calif. congressman's grandsons

AP News
Posted: Aug 11, 2011 6:57 PM
Mexican police find Calif. congressman's grandsons

Police in Mexico have found the three grandchildren of a California congressman, nearly four years after their mother was believed to have abducted them.

Police in the border city of Tijuana said Thursday that they located the 11-year-old boy and 9-year-old twin boys and arrested Jennifer Dejongh. Police identified the mother by her maiden name, Jennifer Lopez.

The boys _ the grandsons of Republican U.S. Rep. Gary Miller _ were turned over to U.S. authorities at the border between the two countries early Thursday, said Steve Whitmore, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

"My wife and I are extremely relieved that after more than 3 1/2 years our grandchildren have been found unharmed and returned safely to the United States," Miller said in a statement.

Dejongh, 34, was turned over to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. She is being held on $500,000 bail, Whitmore said.

Dejongh was charged in November 2007 with three counts of child custody deprivation, said Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles district attorney's office. Dejongh is due to appear in court oFriday.

Robison said she did not know if Dejongh had an attorney.

The arrest was the result of collaboration among Mexican police, the FBI and Los Angeles County investigators. A U.S. man also was arrested in the Wednesday night operation, Mexican police said in a statement.

Dejongh had joint legal custody of the boys with Miller's son Brian Miller, but there was an ongoing legal dispute between the couple.

In November 2007, she was supposed to drop her three sons off at the congressman's house for an extended visit but did not take them there.

Gary Miller represents the 42nd Congressional District, which includes the communities of Diamond Bar, Brea, Chino and Chino Hills.