Police investigate possible East Palo Alto child abduction

Nine-year-old girl found safe in Campbell

A 9-year-old girl was taken from the Cesar Chavez Academy in East Palo Alto on Tuesday morning, March 3, and police are alleging that her biological mother was responsible, according to a press release by East Palo Alto police.

The girl, a student at the school, is the subject of a custody battle.

Police were called to the school at 2450 Ralmar Ave. at 8:11 a.m. Alert school staff gave officers a description of the person who took her and the vehicle she left in. The East Palo Alto Police Department issued an Endangered Missing Person Alert through the California Highway Patrol.

Through a collaborative effort by neighboring allied agencies, the child and her mother were located in Campbell. The girl was not injured. Police are interviewing all persons involved, and an investigation is ongoing, police said.

Anyone who might have witnessed this incident or has any information is asked to contact Detective Tommy Phengsene at 650-798-5347 or call the East Palo Alto Police Department at 650-321-1112; anonymous messages can be emailed to, texted to 650-409-6792, or left by voicemail by calling 650-409-6792.

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7 people like this
Posted by muttiallen
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 4, 2015 at 4:34 pm

muttiallen is a registered user.

The headline for this was totally mis-leading. Typical bias against EPA. Children are not being abducted off the street by strangers!! EPA is a great community with wonderful families. Here's a mother who wants her daughter -- way different than an 'abduction.'

Like this comment
Posted by OpenEars
a resident of another community
on Mar 8, 2015 at 9:45 pm

so true-- I know of a similar story from a mtn. View grade school involving a child even younger, and there was not a drop of it in any papers...

Like this comment
Posted by Don't Be Irresponsible!
a resident of Green Acres
on Mar 8, 2015 at 11:34 pm

Just "... a mother who wants her daughter..." implies the mother is legally entitled to be with her child.

News flash: some mothers are mentally/emotionally/legally unstable and lose custody of their children because they represent a danger to those children. Do you have any idea how severe the circumstances must be for a mother to lose legal access to her children?

Claiming a mother has a right to take her child illegally is irresponsible. Do you *know* the mother is not a heroine addict who might sell her child into slavery in exchange for her next fix? No, you have no idea. All we know is a child was illegally abducted. *Assuming* we know more than that and discounting the unknown circumstances is reckless, naive, and irresponsible.

Let's trust the courts and authorities, and not raise some bizarre EPA bias just to agitate the neighbors and create anger based on misinformation.

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Short story writers wanted!

The 33rd Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult (15-17) and Teen (12-14) categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by March 29. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category.

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