Investigators say Charles Samuel Baines Sr. took his children on Wednesday from his mother's home, located on the 24800 block of Normandie Avenue in Harbor City. Baines' mother, Judith Baines, is the children's custodial grandparent. Charles Baines Sr., who is bipolar, does not have custody of the kids and does not have permission to take them.
"We determined that the suspect has crossed the Mexican border and is in Mexico," said L.A. County Sheriff's Deputy Romeo Pascual. "We've contacted the FBI and the federal agencies along the border, including the Border Patrol."
Deputies say Baines and the boys, 10-year-old Charles Samuel Baines Jr. and 9-year-old Nathaniel James Baines, were likely traveling in a red 4-door 2007 Kia Spectra with California license plate number 6FMN288. Authorities say Baines stole the car, which belongs to Baines' mother. Her purse and cellphone were inside the car.
"They know he's not allowed to drive. They know he doesn't have a driver's license. They know they're not allowed to go places with him," said Judith Baines. "So I don't know what he said to them to get them in the car."
The boys are asthmatic and do not have their medication, Baines' mother said.
Baines is described as African-American, 36 years old, with brown eyes and a shaved head. He is 6 feet 4 inches tall, weighs 270 pounds and has the words "Drug Cartel" tattooed on his left cheek. Investigators say he is on parole and has mental health issues.
Judith Baines said her son is not taking his medication and has been hallucinating about working for drug cartels in Mexico.
"He's unmedicated right now, which makes him very, very scary," said Judith. "He will fight, he will hurt people. I'm afraid for the boys."
An Amber Alert was not issued, authorities said, because Baines had already fled the U.S. and because authorities did not believe Baines was a threat to his children.
If you have any information about the whereabouts of Baines or his children, you're urged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Carson Station at (310) 830-1123. You can also call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.