Police were searching for a 33-year-old man suspected of taking his 10-year-old son from his Mission Viejo school on Wednesday, April 26.
Deputies contacted the father on Thursday and believe the pair to be in Mexico.
Orange County sheriff’s deputies said Thursday that the father, Jaime Zepeda, picked up his son, Jaime Huerta, from Linda Vista Elementary School at about 1 p.m. and has not been seen since.
Zepeda and the boy’s mother had a custody arrangement, a deputy watch commander said. Though details of the arrangement were unclear, he apparently violated a court order saying he was supposed to return the son to his mother by 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Shortly before 10 a.m., Thursday deputies said they had contact with the father and son, who reported to investigators that he’s safe.
Zepeda is Latino 5-foot-3 and about 160 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. He is believed to be driving either a gold 2002 Ford F-150 with California license plate 8U71467 or a 1997 Toyota Celica with California plate 6FGN527.
The Latino boy is 4-foot-1 and weighs 130 pounds. He was last seen wearing black Adidas shorts, a gray sweater and black tennis shoes and carrying a backpack.
Anyone with information about their whereabouts can call the Orange County Sheriff’s Department at 714-647-7000.
City News Service contributed to this report.