LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT
Tuesday, March 7, 2000
"Kidnap Baby Found in Arizona"
Hollywood – Since Monday, March 6, 2000, at approximately 2:20 p.m., Hollywood officers have been investigating the possible kidnapping of 6 month old Johnnie Michelle Vega. The child was believed to have been taken by acquaintances of the child’s mother. A potential lead indicated that the suspects may have left the area and were heading to Texas, via a Greyhound Bus from the San Diego area.
Detectives contacted the Bus Company and obtained schedules and routes that would lead to Texas. One of those routes passed through Safford, Arizona. Photographs of the suspects and victim were forwarded to the Safford Police Department and they were asked to check a bus that was scheduled to stop there today, at 2:00 p.m., Arizona time. At that time, members of the Safford Police Department detained Chamberlain Cotton and Cari Ann Gleason as they got off the bus with the victim.
Both suspects are being held pending the service of an arrest warrant and extradition to Los Angeles. The child appears to be fine, and is currently being examined at a hospital in the Safford area. Arrangements are being made between the Arizona Department of Children’s Services and their Los Angeles counterparts to expedite the return of the child.
We would like to extend our thanks to the Safford Police Department for their quick and professional response in safely apprehending these suspects and ensuring the safety of the victim.
The Hollywood Detectives would especially like to thank the uniformed officers of the Area for their assistance and hard work in tracking down the countless clues through the night.
We would also like to thank the media, for their assistance in getting this information out in a timely manner, which led to many of those clues.
It took a total team effort on the part of the police, the community and the media to bring this case to a safe and successful conclusion.
Prepared by Detective Michael Thrasher, Hollywood Detectives, 213-485-6410.
For Release 9:00 am PST
March 7, 2000