News Flash Home
The original item was published from 2/11/2020 3:42:32 PM to 2/19/2020 12:00:01 AM.

News Flash

Police Department

Posted on: February 11, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Apopka Police Update for Amber Alert Issued on February 10, 2020

City of Apopka Police Logo News Flash

On February 10, 2020, the Apopka Police Department issued an Amber Alert for three-year-old Madeline Mejia based on information provided by her father. After the Amber Alert was issued and suspects were detained with the assistance of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Florida Highway Patrol, the Apopka Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division traveled to Tallahassee to further their investigation into this matter. Upon completing interviews with the suspects, it was determined the child was taken by her biological mother and her mothers’ boyfriend without force, however the mother acknowledged she did not have legal custody of Madeline. 

The mother, Tania Duarte, Hispanic female, date of birth July 1, 2001 and her boyfriend Kevin Smith Olmedo-Velis, Hispanic male, date of birth February 8, 2001, were arrested on warrants obtained by the Apopka Police Department for interference with child custody and booked into the Leon County jail. The other two subjects in the vehicle were released and taken into custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The father of the child, Lester Mejia was re-interviewed by detectives and it was determined Mr. Mejia was not completely forthcoming with the original information he provided to the Apopka Police Department. When confronted with the information detectives learned while in Tallahassee, Mr. Mejia advised he was contacted by a relative while at work and informed the mother, Ms. Duarte, had taken the child. Upon learning that Ms. Duarte had taken the child, Mr. Mejia called 911 while enroute back to the City of Apopka from work. Mr. Mejia was allegedly told by an unknown dispatch center that there was no crime if the mother has the child. Given that information, Mr. Mejia was scared he would not see his daughter again so he provided the abduction story in hopes it would assist in recovering his daughter. 

Although Mr. Mejia was not forth coming with the information he provided to the Apopka Police Department he did have lawful custody of his daughter and Ms. Duarte unlawfully removed Madeline from his custody. The Apopka Police Department continues to investigate this matter, and is thankful that Madeline was found safe and returned to Mr. Mejia.

Due to the ongoing investigation, the Apopka Police Department will not have any further comments and will provide updates as necessary.

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Police Department

Apopka Police Patch Logo. Women's Self Defense Class. Hand stopping punch.

Women's Self Defense Class

Posted on: June 23, 2022