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Abducted California boy is found in Mexico; father killed when hit by bus

Case sparked Amber Alert in Utah

Published: Monday, July 7 2008 4:20 p.m. MDT

A Southern California man who police say shot his estranged wife and kidnapped their son was killed Sunday when hit by a bus in Mexico. The woman survived the shooting.

Lonnie Ramos, 46, sparked an Amber Alert in Utah last week when police believed he could be in the state with his 9-year-old son, Ryan Ramos. That alert was canceled as Ryan Ramos was found alone on the grounds of the LDS temple in Juarez on Sunday and reunited with his family.

After apparently dropping his son off at the church building, Lonnie Ramos died Sunday afternoon when he was hit by a bus while he crossed a busy street in Juarez, said Orange County sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino. The man was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.

"They're treating it as an accident," Amormino said. "As protocol, the driver has been arrested by Mexican police."

On Wednesday, police said, Lonnie Ramos shot his estranged wife, Gynnae Ramos, in the face with a handgun as she waited in her car to pick up her son. The man then took their son across the border into Mexico.

"He believed he was on an outing with his father," Amormino said. Detectives now believe Lonnie Ramos had planned the shooting.

Gynnae Ramos was in good condition Monday in a California hospital where she was recovering from gunshot wounds to her chest, stomach and eye.

And after a frantic five-day search, Ryan Ramos was safe by his mother's bedside Monday.

"The boy is doing very well," Amormino said, "but he doesn't know all of the details of what has happened."

On Sunday morning, Lonnie Ramos called his father in Washington, D.C., to say that he was in Juarez with his son, whom he had dropped off at the LDS temple. Lonnie Ramos converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints about eight months ago, police said.

Ryan Ramos was taken from Juarez to the U.S. consulate in nearby El Paso, Texas, and flown to Orange County. He did not know when police found him that his mother had been shot or that his father had died, Amormino said.

Brace Lake, a member of Lonnie Ramos' LDS ward in Orange County, said people at his church are in a "painful state of shock."

Lake described Lonnie Ramos as a man who loved his son and tried to do good, but who had troubles with his temper and alcohol. He said Lonnie and Gynnae Ramos had been locked in a bitter custody battle over their son for some time.


Contributing: The Associated Press

E-mail: afalk@desnews.com

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