MARATHON, Fla. – A Texas man wanted in California for abducting his 8-year-old daughter was arrested Tuesday in the Florida Keys.
Warren Demers, 49, of New Caney, Texas, was arrested by Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputies during a traffic stop on U.S. Highway 1 in Marathon.
Sheriff’s spokesman Adam Linhardt said Demers was wanted for kidnapping in San Bernardino County, California. Authorities there said Demers possibly possessed forged court documents stating he had rightful custody of the girl.
A be-on-the-lookout alert was issued for Demers, who was believed to be driving a Ford truck with a Texas license plate.
Linhardt said deputies received information Tuesday that Demers had purchased a boat in the Keys and was headed south. Deputies on the Seven Mile Bridge spotted a truck matching the description that was pulling a sailboat.
When deputies stopped the truck, they found Demers, the girl and a German shepherd inside.
“Demers and the girl had apparently been living out of the truck,” Linhardt said. “The truck was filthy and not suitable for living. It was learned that Demers planned on taking the girl to Cuba in the sailboat.”
The girl was turned over to the Florida Department of Children and Families, while the dog was placed in the care of the Florida Keys Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Demers was arrested and taken to jail. He is expected to be transferred to California to face charges.
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