A kidnapping case reported Wednesday morning in Twin Falls came to an end later that day in Hailey when a missing child was found along with his mother and two other suspects who police allege helped the mother illegally take the boy from his father's home.
Hailey police reported Thursday that 4-year-old Brandon Bearce was unharmed in the incident and was turned over to other family members Wednesday evening. The mother, identified by police as Stephanie Marie Contreras, 28, of Twin Falls, and two other suspects, Daniel D. Thomas, 35, of Hailey, and Kelvin Eugene Milo Jr., 20, of Twin Falls, were arrested and now face multiple felony charges in Twin Falls County.
Stephanie Marie Contreras
Twin Falls police reported that a fourth suspect, David L. Altes, 39, of Twin Falls, was arrested around midnight Wednesday west of Twin Falls on U.S. Highway 30.
Hailey Assistant Police Chief Dave Stellers said the child was recovered and the suspects were arrested without incident after Hailey police and deputies from the Blaine County Sheriff's Office converged on a home at 393 Mother Lode Loop in northeast Hailey.
Daniel D. Thomas
Stellers said police went to the home at about 4 p.m. at the request of the Twin Falls Police Department. He said that initially only Thomas was detained for questioning by Twin Falls police detectives but that subsequent investigation led to recovery of the boy and the arrest of the suspects around 9 p.m.
Stellers said about a dozen officers, including the Sheriff's Office SWAT team, converged on the home because of a report of a gun involved in the taking of the child.
According to the Twin Falls County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, Thomas allegedly brandished and fired a gun when the child was taken.
Kelvin Eugene Milo
Stellers said none of the suspects faces charges in Blaine County.
Twin Falls police reported that the incident started Wednesday morning when Bearce was allegedly taken by force from his father's home on Pierce Street in west Twin Falls. Investigation led police to believe that the boy and his mother were at the Mother Lode Loop residence in Hailey.
Twin Falls County court records identify the father of the child as Jason Carry Bearce Sr.
Contreras, Thomas and Milo were initially booked into the Blaine County jail but were transported Thursday morning to the Twin Falls County jail.
David L. Altes
Initial court appearances for the suspects were scheduled for Thursday afternoon.
Twin Falls County Prosecuting Attorney Grant Loebs said Contreras is charged with three felonies: child custody interference, conspiracy to commit child custody interference and burglary.
He said Thomas and Milo are charged with the felony crimes of aiding and abetting child custody interference, conspiracy to commit child custody interference and burglary. Thomas is also charged with felony aggravated assault for allegedly brandishing a firearm when the child was taken. Altes faces a charge of conspiracy to commit child custody interference.
Loebs explained that child custody interference is a lesser crime than kidnapping and is punishable by up to five years in prison. Kidnapping is punishable by up to 25 years behind bars.
Loebs said the burglary charge is being applied because the suspects allegedly entered the home "with the intent to commit a felony."
Terry Smith: email@example.com