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Police suspect Avon children kidnapped

AVON – The Avon Police Department issued an arrest warrant late Friday for Pedro Mata Rodriguez in the suspected kidnapping of two Avon children. Starting her workday at 5 a.m., Hilda Vargas came home to her Sunridge apartment Friday afternoon to find a note from her daughter.In the note, 15-year-old Jessica Marbella Garcia – with whom Vargas has had a tumultuous relationship – wrote that she had left home and wasn’t coming back, Avon Police Chief Brian Kozak said. Looking around the Avon apartment, Vargas noticed that more than her daughter’s clothes and belongings were missing. Her 11-year-old son, Jose Luis Cerrato, and Rodriguez, Vargas’ boyfriend, were gone too, and with them, all their stuff, Kozak said. Vargas contacted Avon police, who have issued an amber alert in Avon. It’s only the second time there has been an amber alert in the town, Kozak said. Vargas suspects Rodriguez, who is not the paternal father of either child, has her son and daughter and is taking them to Mexico, Kozak said. A warrant was later issued for Rodriguez’s arrest on two counts of second-degree kidnapping.Vargas’ friend Elizabeth Barahona Oneida, 26, is also thought to be with them, Kozak said. Vargas, who hails from Honduras, said Rodriguez quit his job Thursday, Kozak said. “Because of the note, we’re not sure if it was a kidnapping,” Kozak said. Police are more worried about Rodriguez’s criminal history – he’s been convicted of sex offenses in Florida and has a record of carrying weapons, Kozak said. Police said Vargas knew her boyfriend had been in prison but didn’t know for what offense, Kozak said. “He took the children against the mother’s will, he said. “She’s very worried.” The bond for Rodriguez’s arrest warrant has been set at $250,000, according to the Avon Police Department.


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