CLINTON, Utah (ABC4 News) – Two girls at the center of a massive Amber Alert search have been reunited with their grandmother, who is their legal guardian.
Marae and Cynthia Montoya were kidnapped by their noncustodial parents around 3pm Thursday from the home of their babysitter in Clinton, Utah.
“We’re thinking they went over the back fence. Out the back door…They must have snuck out pretty fast,” said Ashley Stringfellow, who is also the ex-girlfriend of the girls father. “I felt like I should have done something more but I didn’t want to get in a fight with them. I didn’t know what they were taking so I didn’t know how they would have reacted if I was to say anything,” she added.
Tonight, the family is breathing a sigh of relief as they made their return to Utah. The girl’s grandmother Lori Eatchel worried for her granddaughters’ safety since they disappeared on Thursday.
“The babies don’t have no care seats. They don’t have no formula, no diapers or nothing,” she said.
Eatchel telling ABC4 News her son, Christopher Montoya and the girls mother Monica Martinez were not capable of taking care of their girls.
“My son is Schizoaffective Disorder so he’s off his meds because he’s on illegal stuff and so he’s not in his right mind anyway and he’s been known to high speed chase with police before,” she said.
An Amber Alert was issued six hours after the girls went missing on Thursday, by then the four had made it 511 miles South towards Gallup, New Mexico when they were spotted by an alert Motel 6 clerk around 4:00 a.m. Friday morning, who then notified police.
“She recognized Mr. Montoya from the Amber Alert and the vehicle from the Amber Alert,” Lt Shawn Stoker of the Clinton Police Department said. “And contacted authorities.”
Montoya and Martinez were arrested without incident. The girls, Cynthina and Marae, were OK and placed in the care of the New Mexico Children Youth and Families Department.
A little after 6:30 p.m. ABC4 News learned the girls had been reunited with the grandmother back here in Utah. Because the girls were in the custody of DCFS their reunion was kept secret and the family is asking for privacy.
The Davis County Attorney’s Office is expected to file charges against Montoya and Maritnez.