A 5-year-old boy feared to be kidnapped was found in the custody of his mother Wednesday night, bringing to an end a day-long search and investigation by the FBI and North Salt Lake police.
Erik Manuel Stevens disappeared Tuesday afternoon from his father's apartment at 55 W. Center Street, said FBI special agent Bob Lund. He said Michael Stevens, 31, picked up his son and one of the boy's friends from a baby sitter, went shopping and came home to the apartment building."Erik told his father he wanted to go skateboarding, and the young friend said he wanted to ride his bike. So the friend went to get his bike, and Stevens took groceries up to his apartment. When his son's friend came looking for Erik and asked where Erik was, Erik's father said he didn't know. They went looking for the boy and couldn't find him."
Officials were contacted at 7 p.m. Wednesday by the natural mother's attorney who told them she had the boy. Officials met with the mother, her attorney and the boy and determined the FBI would drop the case because no violation of federal law was involved.
"According to the statute, a natural parent cannot kidnap their own child," Lund said. He added that while the FBI is no longer involved, North Salt Lake police may still investigate the incident.
Lund said the boy was in excellent condition and called the situation a "positive solution."
Lund said the parents have been estranged and in a custody battle.