A police K9 successfully tracked down a 5-year-old Utah boy after the boy was kidnapped by his father.
Following an argument with his son’s mother, 44-year-old Richard Mamales snatched his young son, Derek, on Friday night and allegedly threatened to kill the whole family. Before kidnapping his son, Mamales threatened to kill Derek first.
Mamales’ daughter, Samantha, described her father as “toxic” and noted that he has bipolar disorder.
Police launched a search and activated Utah’s Child Abduction Response Team, also issuing an amber alert. A bloodhound named Max, a member of South Salt Lake’s K9 unit, had also been dispatched with his trainer Alan Honsaker to track the boy down.
Max was given a paper bag with the boy’s scent, before tracing him to a shed where Mamales was hiding with Derek on Saturday afternoon.
Mamales was promptly arrested and booked at Tooele County Jail. Derek was found in good condition and eating candy. During an emotional scene, Derek was returned to his mother and sisters, who can be seen in photos covering the boy with blankets and hugging him.
Max, who has been finding missing children for eight years, was given plenty of juicy treats and attention for his work.
Police said they are unsure of the charges Mamales may face since the investigation is still ongoing.