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Boy in Florida Amber Alert found safe; father arrested

Authorities say a 4-year-old autistic boy with ties to the Philly area has been found safe and well in Florida after an Amber Alert.
Friday, September 05, 2014
Authorities say a 4-year-old autistic boy with ties to the Philly area has been found safe and well in Florida after an Amber Alert.

Ismael Tristan Santisteban was found with a man believed to be his father, 28-year-old Adam Matos, Friday morning in a Tampa hotel.

Matos, who recently lived in Philadelphia and Orefield, Lehigh County, has been taken into custody.

Tampa Police say a tip led multiple law enforcement agencies to the pair.

The Tampa Tribune reports police used a ruse to lure Matos out of his room and away from the child. Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said Matos was caught by surprise and didn't put up a fight. Matos was in Tampa with plans to leave the area with the boy, Nocco said.

The sheriff's office worked with Tampa police to devise "a plan so this would end safely," Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor said.

Castor said the child seemed fine. "He is in good spirits," she said during a news conference Friday morning.

The search for Matos and the boy began Thursday after Sheriff's deputies in nearby Pasco County conducted a welfare check at a Hudson home. The deputies who stopped by the home found no one home, but noticed a bad odor in the area. They walked down the street toward an area where birds were circling and found four bodies - two men and two women - piled on top of each other. He said they had apparently been there for several days.

Nocco said the scene inside the home alarmed investigators.

Matos quickly became a suspect. He had been seen in the area recently and Nocco said the killings were not a random act.

While at the Tampa hotel, Castor said Matos used his own name to check into the hotel around midnight and he had gone to a bus station near the hotel to ask about routes and bus fares.

Nocco said Matos is either the boy's biological father or a father figure to him. The boy had last been seen at his Pasco County home Aug. 28. He said the boy's mother called the sheriff's office that day and said Matos had threatened her with a knife.

Officials have not released the names of the victims or said how they may be related to the boy and to Matos.

The investigation was continuing.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Related Topics:
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