Colonel Ann C. Assumpico, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Director of the Department of Public Safety, announces that a couple who allegedly took their infant daughter from the custody of the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families in violation of a Family Court order has been arrested in Florida. The baby is unharmed.
Daniel Campos, 38, and Gabriela Paz, whose last known permanent address was 777 Main St., Hartford, CT, were arrested on warrants charging them as being fugitives from justice and were held for extradition back to Rhode Island, where they will face charges of childsnatching.
The couple had been staying in Woonsocket when their four-week-old baby was removed from their custody and placed in foster care with a relative on Monday (February 26). Under terms of a Family Court order, the couple was not to have unsupervised contact with their child.
However, Monday night, the couple allegedly went to the relative's home and took the baby, saying they would return "very soon." The relative notified DCYF late Tuesday night that the couple had taken the baby and had not returned.
Rhode Island State Police broadcast a missing person report for the infant and notified police departments where the couple was believed to have relatives and other connections. Troopers also obtained a warrant for the arrest of both parents on charges of childsnatching.
The couple was located early Thursday morning in Jacksonville, FL, where they were arrested without incident and held pending extradition back to Rhode Island. Child welfare authorities in Florida took custody of the infant along with the couple's older child, a 3-year-old boy.
Both children are unharmed and will be returned to the custody of the Department of Children, Youth and Families, pending further Family Court action.