A South California mother whose two children were reported missing 15 years ago has tracked them down in Florida using Facebook.
The children's father, Faustino Utrera, took off with them in 1995 when they were ages 2 and 3, said Deputy District Attorney Kurt Rowley.
The mother had found her daughter's Facebook profile after searching for her name on the social networking site in March, Rowley said.
An official said on Saturday that the now 17-year-old girl and 16-year-old boy have been placed in the custody of the state of Florida.
"You can imagine the feelings she's having, not seeing her children for so many years and knowing they've bonded with another family," Rowley said about the mother. "But at the same time they're almost within her grasp."
Sheriff's deputies in Florida detained Utrera on an arrest warrant last month obtained by prosecutors who were contacted by the missing children's mother. He was charged with kidnapping and violating child custody orders.
Rowley said that when the daughter's profile was found on Facebook, she initially told her mother that she did not want to re-establish their relationship, but the contact helped prosecutors file two felony counts against Utrera.
Rowley said he expected Utrera to fight extradition at a July 17 hearing in Florida.
（中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑）
Todd Balazovic is a reporter for the Metro Section of China Daily. Born in Mineapolis Minnesota in the US, he graduated from Central Michigan University and has worked for the China daily for one year.