A heartbroken mother made a plea on Tuesday for the safe return of her son and announced a $50,000 reward to help track down the father accused of kidnapping the 2-year-old from Boyle Heights last month.
The toddler, Edwin Vargas, was allegedly taken from Boyle Heights by Abraham Vargas, the boy’s 26-year-old father, Abraham Vargas. A statewide Amber Alert was issued May 23.
The kidnapping happened while the toddler’s mother, Beatrice Lopez, was loading her son into her car in front of her apartment complex in the 1000 block of Lorena Street at 6:30 a.m. on May 23, police said.
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Vargas allegedly "came out of nowhere" and pushed Lopez to the ground while she was strapping the boy into his car seat, officials said.
An Amber Alert was issued and California Highway Patrol and Border Patrol were notified, as police suspect Vargas may have been heading for Mexico.
Lopez said Abraham Vargas threatened in the past to take the toddler from her several times in the two years since the couple broke up, saying he would take the boy to Veracruz, Mexico.
The Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles City Council joined the boy's family on Tuesday to ask for the public's help to find a man they consider dangerous.
"Any little bit of information will help," Councilman Jose Huizar said. "No matter how small you may think that little piece of information is, you never know if it could lead us to crack the case."
Vargas is also under investigation in connection with unlawful sex with a minor, LAPD Capt. Martin Baeza said during the Tuesday morning news conference.
Vargas believed to be in the Boyle Heights area and has changed his appearance by shaving his head and growing a goatee, Baeza said.
Lopez spoke in Spanish during the conference.
"The only thing shes asking is for him to return his son, thats the only thing we want," she said through her sister. "With just one phone call we will know where he's at, one thing we're asking is for community to help us find him."
The reward is offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect. Anyone with information should call 911 or the LAPD Hollenbeck Division.