A Mesa woman and her boyfriend were arrested on suspicion of kidnapping three girls who were the subject of an Amber Alert out of Pinal County on Friday.
Veronica Frances Aleksiejczyk-Rivera, 43, and Martin Leon-Villanueva, 48, of Mexico, were arrested Friday on three counts each of kidnapping, endangerment, child abuse, and custodial interference, a Pinal County Sheriff's Office spokesman said on Tuesday.
Investigators said Paityn Randell (aka Rainni Aleksiejczyk), 16, Jessyka Randell (aka Dominique Aleksiejczyk), 12, and Miracle Hernandez, 12, were reported missing Friday by their foster mother, leading to the Amber Alert.
The foster mother also told deputies that one of the children suffers from a life-threatening illness that requires constant medication, the spokesman said.
Aleksiejczyk-Rivera is the natural mother of Paityn and Jessyka, but had her parental rights taken away in 2010, the spokesman said.
The girls waited for their foster family to go bed Thursday night and about 1:30 a.m. Friday, as family members were sleeping, the girls snuck out of the San Tan Valley residence and met up with Aleksiejczyk-Rivera, the spokesman said.
Aleksiejczyk-Rivera began driving them to Mesa when the Ford Bronco she was driving broke down, the spokesman said.
Arizona Department of Public Safety officers found the abandoned Bronco near Ellsworth and Germann roads in Mesa.
PCSO detectives staked out the house where Aleksiejczyk-Rivera and Leon-Villanueva lived, and saw them walking with the three children.
Aleksiejczyk-Rivera admitted to picking up the girls, but said the girls instigated the incident, the spokesman said.
Leon-Villanueva, an undocumented immigrant, told deputies it wasn't until he returned home that he knew the girls were there. He also said he was aware that his girlfriend's parental rights had been taken away and of the child's illness, but didn't report it to law enforcement out of fear of being deported.
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