Hanford, Calif. - Friday night the Kings County District Attorney's Office is in the final stage of reuniting two Hanford children abducted by their father back with their mother.
It was in November of 2016 when a Hanford mother of two walked through the Kings County Child Abduction unit's doors. Managing District Attorney Philip Esbenshade says those children, now ages eight and nine, were kidnapped by their father.
Authorities are not releasing his identity, but tell us he took them some nearly 2,000 miles away to Michoacan, Mexico, where he had been staying.
"Our investigators worked with the mother here to complete an application which was sent to the attorney general's office and the state attorney general's office worked with Mexican authorities,"
The case between two countries was then handled under the Hague Abduction Convention. It is a civil treaty and allows for the expedited return of children wrongfully abducted or retained in other countries.
After a year-long process involving court proceedings, Friday the DA's office got the news it had been waiting for.
"Earlier this morning our investigators from the Kings County District Attorney's office crossed the border into Mexico and successfully recovered the children."
Esbenshade says right now the children are with three investigators and an investigative assistant. A reunion that will happen before the start of next week.
The Hague Abduction Convention does not allow for criminal prosecution. However, the Kings County District Attorney's Office is evaluating the case for felony charges which would warrant a state prison sentence for the father if convicted.