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Suspects identified in toddler abduction

May 18, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
San Bernardino County Sheriff's officials said Monday that arrest warrants were issued for Israel Ledesma Moreno, 27, and Liberato Vega, 30. Officials say they also want to interview Vega's girlfriend, 21-year-old Claudia Acosta-Serrano.Briant Rodriguez, 3, who was abducted almost two weeks ago by armed men, is now back at home in San Bernardino with his family.

Investigators say the boy does not appear to have been physically harmed. The toddler was found by a Mexicali, Mexico, police officer late Thursday.

"When he could not locate the parents of the boy, he delivered the child to the child services agency in town," said San Bernardino County Sheriff Rod Hoops.

Briant's long, curly hair had been shaved, but authorities said he looked fine otherwise.

Briant was kidnapped on May 3 after two gunmen broke into his family's home, tied up his mother and four of his siblings, then left with Briant.

His mother later told reporters that the men held a gun to her head and told her they were going to take her son to Mexico and kill him.

An intense search was launched, involving dozens of San Bernardino County Sheriff's detectives and the FBI. The kidnappers never demanded a ransom, and authorities do not believe they knew the family.

Investigators are looking into several theories, including one that the kidnappers were from Mexico and may have ties to organized crime there.

Briant was reunited with his mother, Maria Rosalina Millan, in Calexico on Saturday.

Family and friends welcomed Briant home Sunday with flowers, balloons and candles. Briant's father told reporters in Spanish about the moment he found out his boy was alive.

"My whole world stopped. I now have the will to live. I will never forget it. It was the most important moment of my life," said Paul Rodriguez.

Briant's brother, Benjamin Barasa, showed reporters a toy skateboard he got for the 3-year old.

Briant spent Saturday night at the hospital being checked out for physical or emotional issues.

So far, detectives have not questioned the boy about his ordeal, but plan to do so in the coming days.

The suspects were captured on surveillance video the day Briant disappeared.

"We do have some solid suspects. We feel confident that justice will be brought," Hoops said.

Anyone with information on this case is urged to call the San Bernardino Sheriff's Department at (909) 387-3589.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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