Woman arrested in child abduction case from California
Kahului man texted 911 after spotting woman, child on bus
A woman sought in a California child abduction investigation was arrested Thursday morning after a fellow bus rider saw her and her 9-year-old son on the Maui Bus, police said.
Autumn Stone, 38, and her son, Santiago Barros-Stone, were located after Kahului resident Keith Keahi sent a text to 911 to direct officers to the bus that the mother and son were riding, police said.
The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office in California had asked Maui police to help locate Stone after an investigation showed she had abducted the child from his father’s house and traveled to Maui in violation of a court order, police said.
Police confirmed that Stone and the boy arrived on Maui and were seen Wednesday morning in the Kahului area.
When Keahi happened to catch the bus Thursday morning at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center in Kahului, Stone and her son were behind him. Thinking she looked familiar, Keahi went on social media and found the post about police looking for her and the boy.
“I thought, ‘Oh, wow, it’s her,’ “ he said.
Keahi said he was going to call 911, but Stone ended up sitting next to him. So he texted 911 instead, reporting at 9:11 a.m. that the woman and her son were on the Wailuku Loop bus. Keahi exchanged text messages with a 911 dispatcher, who reported tracking the bus on the county website.
Near Kahului Beach Road, after the bus passed the Maui Family YMCA, Keahi said he saw a police car passing and texted the dispatcher. When the bus stopped at Iao Parkside in Wailuku at about 9:25 a.m., police converged and approached Stone.
“Her face kind of dropped when the police officers came in,” Keahi said. “They looked at her, said, ‘Is your name so and so?’ She said yes. They said, ‘Come with us.’ “
He said the boy looked fine.
Through the bus window, Keahi took a photo of Stone and her son with police. Afterward, he noticed the boy was looking at him. “That kind of broke my heart too,” Keahi said.
On its Facebook page, police thanked Keahi for using the text-to-911 feature to notify police.
Keahi said he also received a message from the girlfriend of the boy’s father saying they were on the way to Maui.
“I’m still tripping about the whole situation,” he said Thursday afternoon, after receiving many comments and messages on his Facebook page.
It wasn’t the first time Keahi has used the text-to-911 app to provide tips to police. Two other times, he said he used the app to provide information about the location of people sought by police, but the people were gone when police arrived.
Stone’s bail was set at $25,000, according to police. As of Thursday afternoon, she remained in police custody.
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.