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Missing teen found, uncle arrested

August 1, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Whittier teen reported missing Saturday has been found in San Dimas.The teen was located Saturday night at an Arco gasoline station in San Dimas. The suspect, the teen's uncle, was arrested and the 13-year-old was in protective custody. The teen was later returned to her family.

Police say 13-year-old Cynthia Hernandez was abducted outside her home in Whittier, possibly by her uncle Friday night. Investigators were especially concerned because the teen was without her asthma medication.

Authorities said Hernandez's uncle, Juan Hernandez, 45, is a parolee and may have been armed. Investigators say Juan Hernandez told family members that he carries a handgun.

Amber Alert signs had been activated all across California, asking for the public's help in tracking down the vehicle and the suspect.

Investigators say Juan Hernandez got into a fight with his sister-in-law, Cynthia's mother, Friday night. According to investigators, the fight turned violent as the 45-year-old forced the teenager into his truck.

"An argument ensued over the quality of child care that was being provided to Cynthia by her mother, which was unsubstantiated," said Jason Zuhlke, Whittier Police Department. "Apparently our suspect, Juan Hernandez, felt that he could provide better care for the victim."

"I'm afraid for her. I don't know if he sees her ... in what way he sees her. As a woman? I don't think so. She's only a little girl," said Adriana Hernandez, Cynthia's mother earlier Saturday afternoon. "I want her home."

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