Children abducted from Burien library found safe, suspect in custody


by KING 5 News

Posted on May 22, 2012 at 5:21 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 22 at 11:19 PM

BURIEN, Wash. -- A 7-month-old boy and a 2-year-old boy, whose abduction from the Burien library Tuesday afternoon triggered an Amber Alert, have been found safe and their abductor has been taken into police custody.

The incident began around 12:30 p.m. King County sheriff’s detectives said the children were with their mother, seated in the back seat of her car, in the Burien library parking lot when they were approached by the suspect, Michael Riley.

"Her ex-boyfriend, who also happens to be the father of the 7-month-old, opened up the rear passenger door and asked if he could have his child," said Cindi West, King County Sheriff's Office spokesperson. "She said no. She has a no contact order with him at this point."

Authorities said Riley, 23, is homeless, has known gang affiliations and a history of domestic violence, assault and weapons use. While Riley did not brandish any weapons during the incident, he did assault his former girlfriend.

"He tried to take a swing at her, went around to the driver's side door, and they had a struggle. She fled away from the car to escape him and he jumped in the car and took off with the kids," said West.

Riley fled in his girlfriend’s 4-door 1994 dark green Lexus GS300.  The vehicle had a LoJack security system installed, which tracks stolen vehicles. While patrol units from multiple agencies scoured the region for the suspect, detectives were able to detect the LoJack signal on the Lexus and Guardian One locate it in the Three Tree Point neighborhood in Burien.

Officers and detectives searched the Burien neighborhood and around 4:30 p.m. spotted the suspect driving the Lexus in an alley near SW 160th Place and 21st Avenue SW.  Two officers approached the car on foot and managed to block it in the alley. Riley tried to flee the car, but the officers immediately took him to the ground. The officers said they found a .38 caliber handgun in the vehicle.

The two children were found safe and sound in the back seat of the car. They were immediately taken into sheriff's custody.

Officers said Riley was high on drugs, driving around with the kids in the back seat.

"The two officers said (Riley) had apparently been using drugs in the car, possibly smoking crack, and that he had almost no effect at all. He was sort of 'out of it' was their description," said King County Sheriff Steve Strachan. "Again, (it was) a very dangerous situation with a handgun as well as the fact he was using crack."

With the children safe in King County Sheriff's Office custody, authorities planned to reunite the children with their mother as soon as possible.

"We're thankful for the technology, we're thankful for the Amber Alert and how well it worked, and we're very relieved to have a positive outcome on this case," said Strachan. 

KING 5's Jim Forman, Elisa Hahn and Liza Javier contributed to this report.