By Mary O’KEEFE
Two children are now in protective services following a routine traffic stop by police.
On Nov. 14, Glendale police officers stopped a vehicle at Foothill Boulevard and New York Avenue. The officers noticed two men and a woman were not wearing their seatbelts. This would typically be a routine stop but officers were concerned about some responses they received to questions asked.
“The information the adults were [giving the officers] was suspicious and inconsistent,” said Tahnee Lightfoot, spokeswoman for Glendale Police Dept. “One officer observed a 3-year-old in the rear of the car [in the luggage area] not restrained.”
There were two girls in the car, a 7-year-old and the 3-year-old. The officers conducted an investigation and ran the children’s names through a database. They found the mother had abducted the 7-year-old from Anchorage, Alaska three years ago. The mother, Cora Malone, 39, from Alaska was in the vehicle.
“The state had custody of the [7-year-old], “ said Lt. Nancy Redeer, Anchorage police. The mother had lived in Alaska at some point. When the child was abducted she was a ward of the state.
Redeer praised the GPD officers that followed their instincts.
“As far as the officer that stopped [Malone] – my hat is off to him,” Redeer said. “I can tell you I have been in law enforcement for 30 years and have never heard of [an officer checking] the identity of a 7-year-old … I credit him completely with following through and sensing something was wrong.”
Initially Malone and one of the men in the vehicle were arrested for kidnapping a child; however, the state of Alaska will not extradite and the Los Angeles County District Attorney rejected the case. It was discovered the other man in the vehicle was not involved in the kidnapping.
Both children are safe. The 7-year-old is with child services in Alaska and the 3-year-old is in child services in L.A. County.
“The [GPD officers] are my heroes for finding that little girl,” Redeer added. “They are awesome.”