Missing Child Found In Topeka

By: Lindsey Rogers Email
By: Lindsey Rogers Email

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- After several days of searching for a little boy taken from his Manhattan home by his mother, police revealed that the child was found at a home in Topeka.

Members of the Riley County Police Department, with the assistance of the Topeka Police Department, located Benjamin Chavez-Birdwell at a residence in Topeka Wednesday evening.

"Benjamin is in good health and will be released to the custody of his father," said Sgt. Brad Jager with RCPD's Special Investigative Unit.

On Sunday, November 18, 2012 at 3:00 PM, 39-year-old Arano Chavez of Manhattan reported that his son, Benjamin Antonio Chavez-Birdwell was taken by his mom, 29-year-old Sonja Karin Birdwell. Police say Sonja Birdwell went Chavez's home on Patricia Place and took Benjamin as well as a car in what police described as an ongoing custody dispute.

Officials said a reliable source spotted Birdwell in Topeka twice after taking her son from Manhattan but details surrounding the disappearance and where Benjamin was located were not released Wednesday.

Sonja Birdwell was arrested for aggravated interference with parental custody and is held on a $10,000 bond. No other arrests have been made in association with this case at this time.

Birdwell is believed to be in a stolen 2008 White Mazda 3 sedan bearing a Kansas license plate reading: 053 EBR.

The Mazda has damage to the front grill and driver side front bumper. It also has a “Briggs Auto” front tag.

The car has not been located and is still considered stolen.

Anyone with additional information regarding the vehicle is urged to contact either the Riley County Police Department or the Topeka Police Department.

"The Riley County Police Department would like to thank the public, the media, and the Topeka Police Department for their assistance in this matter," an RCPD press release said.


631 SW Commerce Pl. Topeka, Kansas 66615 phone: 785-272-6397 fax: 785-272-1363 email: feedback@wibw.com
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