MIAMI (CBS4) – Two young boys are back home with their mother and grandfather a day after they were first reported missing by their worried mother.
She now tells CBS4 this was a case of a misunderstanding with a friend who had taken them around 5 p.m. on Monday.
“I’m still crying,” said the children’s mother Sharmaine Bonilla. “I have been crying since last night.”
She told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “There was a terrible feeling in my chest. Everything stopped. I felt nothing right here. I was empty. Now I so happy that my kids are home and that I can hold them.”
Bonilla said a babysitter was taking care of her sons, 5-year-old Daren and 3-year-old Rey Bonilla, when her friend stopped by their apartment and took them, putting them in her SUV and driving off.
Bonilla told police that her friend Gloria Gonzalez, who is also known as “Gigi,” took them. Police have not released the name of the woman who took the children and have not said why they were taken.
Bonilla said of her friend, “Gigi was upset. She was with the kids. And she took off with them. It was more because of a fight we were having. I called her back and finally saw her. There were hugs. There was nothing wrong.”
Bonilla’s friend reportedly told police she was taking the children to the Department of Children and Families.
North Miami Police Major Neal Cuevas told D’Oench that charges are possible and police were looking into the possibility of any abuse against the children.
“Whenever there is a case like this, detectives go over it with a fine tooth comb,” said Cuevas. “And if there is any room for charges, there will be charges.”
“Are you looking into the possibility of abuse?” asked D’Oench.
“That is always possible,” said Cuevas. “That is always a consideration.”
Police located the children after getting the address of the mother’s friend who took them. Police spotted their car on I-95 near 135th Street and stopped it.
“The investigation lead us to a couple of addresses and we then spotted her vehicle,” said North Miami Police Detective Felix Guadarrama.
Guadarrama announced the developments in a 12 noon news conference at North Miami Police headquarters, saying “We just want everyone to know that we found the lady and everyone is safe.”
The case also involved other agencies including the Department of Children and Families and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Bonilla also has a 6-month-old daughter. DCF told CBS4’s Natalia Zea that the agency transported the child to a family member’s home and said Bonilla could pick her up anytime she wanted to.