Missing Pelham girl found in California, Alabaster man charged

The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested an Alabaster man on Feb. 7 and charged him in connection with a missing Pelham juvenile. (Contributed))

The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested an Alabaster man on Feb. 7 and charged him in connection with a missing Pelham juvenile. (Contributed)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

A missing Pelham girl was found in California and has been returned to her mother, and an Alabaster man has been arrested in connection with her disappearance, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The FBI Los Angeles Inland Regional Apprehension Team arrested 27-year-old Alabaster resident Ramon Nunez Cervantes on Feb. 7 and charged him with interfering with child custody. He is being held in the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside County, Calif., on a $250,000 bond.

Cervantes’ arrest came after a juvenile female was reported missing to the Pelham Police Department on Feb. 7. The report “indicated that she may be in the company of Cervantes,” read an FBI press release issued on Feb. 10.

After the Pelham Police Department partnered with the FBI, the bureau’s Birmingham Child Exploitation Task Force determined Cervantes was in Riverside, Calif. The Birmingham task force then relayed the information to the FBI agency in Riverside.

“After a short surveillance, the couple was observed leaving a residence in Corona, Calif., and getting into the suspect vehicle on Friday evening,” read the FBI press release. “IRAT enlisted assistance from officers with the Corona Police Department who conducted a traffic stop and pulled the suspect and victim over.”

After law enforcement agents arrested Cervantes, they returned the juvenile to her mother in Pelham on Feb. 9.

Pelham Deputy Police Chief Larry Palmer said the victim had been missing for about a week before she was returned to her family.