An Arcata, Calif., man is in the Jackson County Jail, suspected of keeping his 3-year-old son for an extended length of time without telling the boy's biological mother and of stealing a van and painting it pink.
Ramin Ahadi, 29, is being held on charges of custodial interference, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and first-degree criminal mischief. His bail is set at $55,000.
An Arcata woman reported on June 17 that her 3-year-old son had gone to spend the day with his noncustodial father, Ahadi, but hadn't returned as expected, the Arcata Police Department said in a news release Thursday. Ahadi didn't respond to her phone calls and his whereabouts were unknown.
Investigators in California suspected that he was intentionally concealing the boy from his mother and likely had left the state.
Arcata police got a tip Thursday that Ahadi and the child were seen in Ashland.
Jackson County Sheriff's deputies found Ahadi parked in the 1000 block of Eagle Mill Road outside Ashland just before noon Thursday in a pink 1980 Volkswagen Vanagon. Ahadi, his wife, their two biological children, and the missing 3-year-old were inside the van.
The investigation revealed the pink van had been stolen from Eugene and painted after it was taken, resulting in the additional car theft charge, officials said.
Ahadi was arrested and the child was taken into protective custody until his mother could come from Arcata to pick him up Friday, officials said.