4 Montebello boys rescued; father in custody in SD County

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Police rescued four missing Montebello boys and took Daniel Perez into custody following a standoff on a San Diego County freeway. (KABC)

Daniel Perez, the father of the four missing Montebello children, was taken into custody Thursday following a dramatic standoff and rescue of his four sons on a San Diego County freeway.

The missing family was located in Santee after El Cajon police spotted the car that was the subject of an Amber Alert. Police began following the Toyota Camry and determined that the driver was 43-year-old Daniel Perez.

After a brief chase, the Camry stopped on the SR-52 ramp to the southbound SR-67 at about 8:30 a.m. Two boys exited the Camry first, and then about an hour into the standoff, two additional boys exited the vehicle with their father, Daniel Perez.

When Perez appeared to make a last-ditch effort to get away, officers in tactical gear quickly moved in.

PHOTOS: Amber Alert standoff ends on San Diego County freeway

Police say the couple's four sons -- Jordan, 11, Alex, 6, Jaiden, 9, and Tristan, 8 -- were last seen Friday night when Daniel picked them up from a family member's home. Erica was not with him at the time.

The couple's marriage was unstable, according to family members, and they had a history of domestic violence.

On Wednesday, a woman's body was found in the trunk of a Honda belonging to the family. The body has not yet been positively identified, but it is presumed to be 39-year-old Erica Perez. Daniel Perez is considered a person of interest in the homicide.

"Last night, the Montebello Police Department was in contact with LoJack right after our press conference and were able to turn on the LoJack in that vehicle because it was a newer car," said Montebello Police Capt. Luis Lopez.

LoJack, a vehicle recovery system, alerted San Diego authorities and "got the Amber Alert going," Lopez said.

VIDEO: Montebello suspect exits car with kids in SD County

The Amber Alert was issued for a 2014 black Toyota Camry, which eventually led to the standoff in San Diego County. At one point, little hands could be seen waving out of the windows -- a tactic often used by law enforcement to show proof of life.

Two armored vehicles surrounded and trapped the suspect's vehicle around 9:50 a.m.

"It looked like the kids were going to try to run back to the police, but it seemed like maybe the father was telling them not to," Lopez said.

The remaining two boys in the vehicle ran to officers, and the suspect was tackled to the ground.

Related Topics:
missing personbody foundstandoffamber alertSan Diego CountyMontebello
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