A Levi's Call was issued through the GBI for Francisco Madrigal, 34, of Forest Park, and his four children, when the children were kidnapped. The children have since been returned home, safely, and Madrigal was arrested Thursday.
A Forest Park dad wanted in the September kidnapping of his four children was arrested Thursday morning by the Clayton County Sheriff's Fugitive Squad.
Francisco Hernandez Madrigal, 34, is being held without bond in the Clayton County Jail pending his first appearance hearing.
Madrigal is charged with four counts of kidnapping and interference with custody, and a probation violation.
Sheriff's Lt. Brian Crisp said Madrigal was taken into custody about 11:26 a.m., Thursday, after he was spotted in the area of Rock Cut and Richard roads. Forest Park Police Maj. Chris Matson said Madrigal fled with his four children Sept. 12, taking them to Mexico to their grandmother's home, before leaving on his own.
The four children, ages 12, 10, 9 and 6, returned home a month later, to be reunited with their mother, Miriam Rivera. She and the kids have moved away from the apartment where they were living at the time of the kidnapping.
"I am so happy now," she said in Spanish. Clayton County Sheriff's Investigator David Vasquez translated her comments into English. "When I saw them, I embraced them and started kissing them. It was like an eternity before they came home. I was desperate for their return."
Rivera said she was thankful Madrigal did not mistreat their children.
Jose Madrigal, the oldest of the four, recalled the trip back into Georgia from San Luis Potosi, Mexico. He said their maternal grandmother put the children on a bus to Reynosa, Mexico, where they were picked up by an uncle.
"He picked us up in a van and drove us to his home in Corpus Christi," said Jose. "It took four-and-a-half days to get from Mexico to Georgia."
Although the children, who were born in the United States, didn't have passports or their birth certificates, officials cut through immigration red tape by confirming they were victims of a kidnapping, said Vasquez.
"That was the easiest way to do it," he said.
Rivera said she has made sure no one has permission to sign out her children from school.
"No one can get them, not even my sister," said Rivera.