AURORA, Colo. – The man accused of setting off an Amber Alert after he allegedly kidnapped a woman and her son was captured by law enforcement authorities Wednesday afternoon in Boulder, and the woman and her son are OK.
Police say Brenda Sanchez and her young son, Ivan, were kidnapped at gunpoint from a home in Denver around 8:35 a.m. but did not say from where in Denver. They said the incident was called in by Sanchez's sister.
The Aurora Police Department called the situation an Amber Alert in an 11:27 a.m. post on social media, though the official Amber Alert was not issued until just before 1:30 p.m.
— Aurora Police Dept (@AuroraPD) December 7, 2016
Police say the suspect is Sergio Martinez, 21, who is described as a Hispanic male who is 5-foot-7 and 180 pounds with a goatee and short brown hair.
Court records show Martinez has prior driving under the influence convictions and a robbery conviction. He was charged in 2012 for kidnapping with intent to commit sexual assault, but the charges were dismissed by the district attorney.
He was most-recently arrested by Fort Morgan police on Oct. 29 on kidnapping, assault and false imprisonment charges. He pleaded guilty to third-degree assault charges in exchange for the other charges being dismissed.
The department did say they had talked with family members of Sanchez’s at a home in Aurora Wednesday morning.
While they were talking with them, officers received reports of a hit-and-run crash at Smoky Hill and South Buckley involving a white 2013 Subaru Legacy, with Colorado plate QIZ-384, which is registered to the suspect.
Aurora police said at 2:25 p.m. the vehicle was located in Boulder and Martinez was taken into custody. They said both Sanchez and Ivan are OK and that the investigation remains ongoing. The Amber Alert was canceled shortly afterward.
Denver7's news partners at the Boulder Daily Camera said the vehicle was found near the Wendy's on Baseline.
— John Bear (@johnbearwithme) December 7, 2016
Aurora police say Sanchez was medically evaluated for minor injuries, but Ivan had no injuries.
Crystal McCoy, the spokeswoman for APD, said Sanchez and Martinez used to be in a relationship but had broken up. Martinez is not Ivan's biological father, and it's still unclear what led up to the kidnapping.
McCoy said Martinez ran about 100 yards from police before he was caught in Boulder. She said officers are still looking for the weapon allegedly involved in the kidnapping and that charges won't be determined until Wednesday night or Thursday morning. She also said Aurora police's fugitive team caught the suspect.
Statewide Amber Alert
Two hours after police first tweeted about the Amber Alert, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) sent out a statewide alert.
"There were a number of different incidents taking place, multiple agencies -- there was a lot of moving parts associated with this case," said Susan Medina a spokesperson for CBI.
Denver7 asked Medina why it took several hours for CBI to send out the alert.
"I know time is of the essence, but at the same time when you use an Amber Alert system that blasts statewide it is critical that, that information is fully vetted," she said.
Medina explained that in order for an Amber Alert to be sent out, a law enforcement agency must contact CBI.
The case also must meet three specific requirements: the child has to be under 18, be in immediate danger of serious injury, and have enough descriptive information -- like a car or license plate number -- to send out.
"We have to ensure that the information is correct," said Medina.
In this case, she said it's still unclear if any mistakes were made or if the alert could have been pushed out sooner.
"It's a little too early to say specifically in this one, but we're going to bring everybody to the table and we're going to discuss this in the future," said Medina.