Four suspects were detained, including the girl’s biological mother and her boyfriend, according to the police department’s statement. While the mother did not have legal custody, she did not take the toddler by force, the statement said.
When Mejia was interviewed again, he admitted to knowing Madeline’s mother had taken the child, the police statement said. He also told investigators he was at work, and not in the driveway of his home, when she was taken, police said. A relative called to tell him that the child’s mother had taken her, the police statement said.
In the follow-up interview, Mejia told police that when he called 911 as he drove back from work, he was told there was no crime if the child was with her mother, the statement said.
So, he made up the abduction story with the hope that it would help with getting the girl back, the police statement said.
Mejia told WFTV that he made up the story out of concern for his daughter’s safety. It is not clear if he will face charges.
The girl’s mother and her boyfriend were arrested and booked on charges of interference of child custody, police said.