Published: Sat, May 05, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Kidnapped children found safe in RV abandoned after all-day pursuit

Kidnapped children found safe in RV abandoned after all-day pursuit

The orchard was cordoned off and searched for several hours, but authorities found no trace of Houk - who is considered by police to be armed and unsafe, according to a release from Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department press release.

The suspect, a 46-year-old Caucasian male, is also a registered sex offender out of the state of OR who was on parole for a sex offense.

Houk, who was on parole for felony sodomy in OR, began leading police on a chase Tuesday afternoon in Los Angeles after he had a fight with his wife and fled with his children inside the motor home, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

They said they were reluctant to do anything which might agitate him and cause him to harm the two children inside.

He has been on the run from the law with his wife and their two young children for the last two years.

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That prompted a chase that moved from nearby Hollywood north.

The 11-month-old girl kidnapped Tuesday with a deputy after authorities found her and her brother safe in Bakersfield.

Sheriff's officials said that Stephen Houk is considered armed and risky.

Eventually Houk turned on a dirt road to the orchard, where the motor home and police vehicles kicked up blinding dust, said Officer Robert Rodriguez, a spokesman with the California Highway Patrol.

Police then found the baby inside and Houk nowhere in sight.

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Officers eventually surrounded the motorhome with armored vehicles and patrol cars, guns drawn, waiting for Houk to emerge.

The chase ended in an almond orchard.

Both of the children have been reunited with their mother, according to the Los Angeles County's Sheriff Department.

The crime involved sex with a child under 14 years old but the circumstances were "too egregious to discuss", Los Angeles County sheriff's Capt. Darren Harris told KNBC-TV.

"At that time we knew the suspect was armed", Hernandez said.

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He pleaded guilty to felony sodomy and prosecutors dropped charges of sex abuse as part of a plea agreement.

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