A high speed chase ended in a 130-mile per hour crash into a stopped police car. When officers rushed to the wreckage, they were only expecting to find the driver inside. Police say they heard crying from inside the vehicle, and that’s when they noticed a small child sitting on the floorboards. Finding the five-year-old boy ended a three-month search. Last November his mother filed a missing person's report.
“In the report it indicates the father, and I`m quoting from this, 'suicidal-possibly homicidal toward the child', which is what made it actually an endangered missing person case,” said Sgt. Halifax with the Des Moines police.
Des Moines detectives began investigating the day after the report was filed, but Sgt. Halifax says there was only so much they could do. “He's the father. Unless his rights are terminated by the state, he has some rights to his son. And there's no criminal code that says he can't be around him,” Halifax said.
When mother April Lozano was awarded full custody last July, Jeremiah Johnson refused to give up his son. “Under Iowa code there is no parental kidnapping criminal code section. Basically what this amounts to is a civil dispute between mother and father, and what this would amount to would be a contempt of court for him violating a court order so that would be a charge not originating from the Des Moines P.D.,” Halifax explained.
Clive police said the chase started when Johnson refused to pull over for having an obstructed license plate. Read more about the chase leading up to the crash here. Clive and Indianola police also say they were unaware the young boy was in the car. It is against both Clive and Indianola police policy to pursue a chase with a child in the car.