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Police: Kidnapping Suspect Found, Child Safe

Police: Kidnapping Suspect Found, Child Safe

Amaya Pernell

Associated Press

December 22, 2010

EAST LANSING, Mich. — A 28-year-old man being sought in the disappearance of his 3-year-old daughter following a fight with the girl’s mother in her Michigan apartment was arrested and the child is safe, police said Tuesday night.

Kidnapping, first-degree home invasion and domestic violence charges were authorized earlier in the day by the Ingham County prosecutor’s office against Lester Pernell.

An Amber Alert was issued for Amaya Marie Pernell, who was taken about 9:30 p.m. Monday from East Lansing. The girl was believed to be in extreme danger, and her mother was assaulted in the apartment following a domestic dispute, police said.

The girl “will be returned to her mother,” police said in a statement. It said the arrest occurred “without incident.” An earlier statement announcing the cancellation of the Amber Alert said the child was “recovered safely.”

East Lansing police said Tuesday night no additional information would be immediately released. Police didn’t say where the arrest was made.

The FBI had joined East Lansing police in the search for Pernell, who authorities said may have fled to a relative’s home in Detroit. Police also said he may have traveled earlier in the day to Atlanta, and that he has ties to the Raleigh, N.C. area.

Lester Pernell also was charged with an alternate count of kidnapping, custodial interference, and interfering with electronic communications. The domestic violence charge is a misdemeanor. The kidnapping and other charges are felonies.

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