Sunday, July 6, 2008

Ryan Ramos Found Safe At An LDS Church In Juarez, Mexico; Lonnie Ramos Still At Large, Will Face Attempted Murder And Kidnapping Charges When Caught

Update July 7th: The Los Angeles Times and the Deseret News report that Lonnie Ramos died after being struck by a bus in Juarez, Mexico.

At left, Lonnie Ramos; at right, nine-year-old Ryan Ramos

Nine-year-old Ryan Ramos, taken by his father Lonnie Ramos on July 2nd after Lonnie shot his ex-wife in the face, has been found safe in Mexico. This post is a composite of stories published by KSL Channel 5 (with video), the Orange County Register, the San Jose Mercury-News, the Houston Chronicle, KCBS Channel 2 in Los Angeles (with video), and KSWT Channel 13 in Yuma.

Previous posts HERE and HERE for additional background.

Ryan Ramos was dropped off by his father at a Latter-day Saints chapel in Juarez, Mexico at around 11 A.M. on Sunday July 6th. He was found there alone at 12 noon, either by parishioners arriving for Sunday services, or by authorities acting under direction. It appears that after he dropped Ryan off, Lonnie Ramos telephoned his father, who in turn notified California authorities. A later Deseret News article revealed that Ramos was a member of the LDS Church, having joined just eight months prior.

Ryan is now in the custody of the American government, at the U.S. Embassy in Juarez. He is expected to be brought back to El Paso straightaway, then returned to his family.

The family reacted joyously at the news. Ryan's mother, Gynnae Ramos, has been informed. She continues to recover steadily from the gunshot wounds to her face and her condition has been upgraded to "good", although considerable reconstructive surgery still awaits. But it was nip and tuck during the early going as to whether she would survive.

Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens expressed gratitude to investigators and the news media for placing emphasis on the case, particularly on publicizing the Amber Alert.

Lonnie Ramos is still at large in Mexico. However, a traffic accident in Juarez was reported, involving someone with a description similar to Ramos. Upon apprehension, Ramos will face charges of attempted murder and child abduction. Update July 7th: The Los Angeles Times now reports that Lonnie Ramos died in that traffic accident.

Commentary: This is shaping up to be more a crime of passion than anything else. Lonnie Ramos found himself pushed beyond his ability to deal with the situation, lashed out, and would have found himself in serious legal trouble had he survived the traffic accident. Passion or not, a guy who uses a gun to solve a problem like this aggressively has got to go away for a while. And his ex-wife has got to suffer through extensive reconstruction surgery.

At least the kid gets away unscathed. Physically, that is.

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