Man, 27, jailed in missing Pelham teen case

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

A 27-year-old Alabaster man is being held in the Shelby County Jail on a $250,000 bond after police said he took a 16-year-old Pelham girl to California in early February.

Cervantes-Nunez

Cervantes-Nunez

The Pelham Police Department charged Ramon Cervantes-Nunez, whose address is listed on Kent Dairy Road in Alabaster, with one felony count of interference with child custody.

The FBI Los Angeles Inland Regional Apprehension Team arrested Cervantes-Nunez on Feb. 7 and held him in the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside County, Calif., until he was transferred to the Shelby County Jail on Feb. 23.

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.

In a bond recommendation document filed in Shelby County Circuit Court on Feb. 7, the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office claimed Cervantes-Nunez “has reportedly been involved in a dating relationship” with the girl, and said “additional charges likely will be forthcoming” against the suspect.

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.