Crime & Justice

Amber Alert Update: Mother charged, 12 year-old boy found safe

Long Beach police issued an Amber Alert Monday for 12 year-old Nicholas Johnston.
Long Beach police issued an Amber Alert Monday for 12 year-old Nicholas Johnston.
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Update 4:33 p.m.: Mother charged, boy wasn't returned to school

Sri Johnston, the mother of a 12 year-old boy who was the subject of an Amber Alert Monday, has been charged with two felony counts of kidnapping and child custody deprivation and faces up to 13 years and 8 months in state prison, Sarah Ardalani, a public information officer with the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said.

"Johnston picked up her son March 5 for a midweek visitation, but she did not return him to school the next day," Ardalani said. "Her son wasn't hurt."

In a  statement released Monday, Long Beach police said the father was initially not certain his son had been abducted, and only reported him missing Friday night. 

"The incident did not meet Amber Alert criteria at the time of the initial report," the statement said, "as there was nothing to substantiate any risk of any physical harm to the child." 

By Monday, police say they had enough new information to warrant an Amber Alert. 

Sri Johnston is being held in lieu of $500,000 bail, the statement said. She'll be arraigned later this week at a Long Beach court.

Update 2:58 p.m.: Suspect in custody, missing boy found safe

Long Beach police report they've taken the mother of a boy reported abducted into custody in Oceanside, California. The boy, Nicholas Johnston was found safe at 2:40 p.,m.

Tweet from Long Beach Police

1:44 p.m.: Amber Alert issued by Long Beach Police; 12 year-old boy missing 

Authorities issued an Amber Alert in the vicinity of Long Beach on Monday afternoon for a 12 year-old boy named Nicholas Johnston, who was believed to have been abducted.

The suspect named was Sri Johnston. The boy was last seen on March 6 and authorities listed a 1998 tan 4-door Saturn with license plate #4AUU679 as a suspect vehicle.

Nicholas has been described by authorities as white, 4'8", 80 lbs., with blonde hair and blue eyes. The suspect, Sri, is a 49-year-old woman with brown hair and brown eyes. She is white, 5'1" and 125 lbs.

Amber Alerts are public notifications activated by law enforcement when a child has been abducted and is in imminent danger. They are reserved for victims 17 years-old and younger or for those with a proven mental or physical disability, and they are not generally used for parental abduction, except in life-threatening cases, according to the California Highway Patrol's Amber Alert System website.

The alert system has been successful in helping authorities rescue victims of abductions. From 2002 to February 2014 — the latest that data was available — 219 alerts had been issued and 255 victims recovered, according to the CHP.

Authorities issued two Amber Alerts in the first two months of 2014. One victim was recovered and one suspect apprehended. The other victim had not been found when the data was published.

Authorities have asked anyone with information to contact the Long Beach Police Department at (562) 570-9650.

This story has been updated.