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Child, mother found

By The Mercury

The search for a boy allegedly taken by his mother in violation of a court order ended Wednesday evening after Riley County police in conjunction with the Topeka Police Department found the boy in a Topeka residence.

Officials said Benjamin Chavez-Birdwell, 3, was found in good health and will be released to the custody of his father Arano Chavez, 39, of Manhattan.

Officers arrested the boy’s mother, Sonja Birdwell, 29, for aggravated interference with parental custody. She is being held on $10,000 bond.

During the investigation, it was alleged that Birdwell took the boy from his father’s house in Manhattan on Sunday in a white 2008 Mazda 3 reportedly belonging to Chavez.

Police have not located that car, with the license plate number 053 EBR, and officials said it is still considered to be stolen.

No other arrests were made in connection with the case.

Anyone with additional information regarding the vehicle is asked to contact either the Riley County Police Department at (785) 537-2112 or the Topeka Police Department at (785) 368-9551.

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