Two Louisiana children who have been missing for a month were finally discovered by police during a routine traffic stop near Eloy, Arizona. Their alleged abductors, 28-year-old Antoinette Wong and 34-year-old Keith Rogers, were arrested.
The children were found on Feb. 7 when Arizona trooper Ashton Shewey pulled over a car that was reportedly swerving in and out of its lane, KLFY reported. Shewey said in a press conference on Feb. 9 that Rogers was driving the car, Wong was in the passenger seat, and the two young boys, 2-year-old Elijah Wong and 7-year-old Donnie Simmons, were in the back seat of the vehicle.
Wong, the children's mother, and her boyfriend Rogers had reportedly abducted the two boys at gun point from separate addresses in Shreveport, Louisiana, on Jan. 12. The pair was also linked to at least three bank robberies in Shreveport and Bossier, Louisiana, following the abduction.
Shewey said he became suspicious when Rogers gave a fake name during the traffic stop.
"When you're trying to lie to police and give them a false name, that's automatically going to tip us off," he said, according to KLFY. "Why? Why don't you want us to know who you are?"
Wong was immediately arrested after her driver's license turned up two outstanding warrants for armed robbery. Rogers was also detained for driving without valid identification. He later admitted his true identity while in custody and was arrested on outstanding warrants for robbery and a probation violation stemming from a 2005 manslaughter conviction, according to the Shreveport Times.
A search of their vehicle also turned up evidence and money from a bank robbery that Rogers reportedly committed.
Shewey said the children were found unharmed and are now in the custody of Child Protective Services in Arizona. Arrangements are being made with the Department of Child and Family Services in Louisiana to return the children, who are half-brothers, to their home state.
Wong and Rogers are currently being held in the Pinal County Jail without bail while awaiting extradition to Louisiana for their crimes, the Shreveport Times reported. The pair's extradition hearing is scheduled for Feb. 12.
The arrest came after a month-long, nationwide manhunt in which local and state police in Louisiana, the FBI, and U.S. Marshals invested a great amount of time and resources to track down the children and their abductors.
A spokesman for the Arizona Department of Public Safety, Capt. Damon Cecil, said the traffic stop may have saved the children's lives.
"We need to be continually vigilant," he added, according to the Shreveport Times. "This really brought home for Shewey that every citizen contact made could save someone's life. In this case, what we thought was a minor traffic violation turned out to be so much more."