Dec. 1, 2019
Note to Media: Margarita Gutierrez’s last name is spelled Gutierrez and Izabelle is spelled with a z.
The incident report will be made available Monday.
******UPDATE: MISSING KIDS FOUND SAFE; MOM ARRESTED IN NORTH FLORIDA
Margarita Gutierrez, the Ocala woman believed to have taken her children illegally Friday after failing to return them to their guardians after a visit in DeLand, was located Sunday night in Columbia County in North Florida. The children have been safely recovered and Gutierrez was arrested in Lake City.
Gutierrez, 29, faces a charge of interfering with custody in Volusia County, along with several charges in Lake City, including burglary of a residence, fleeing and eluding, resisting arrest without violence and child abuse. She remains held in Lake City. The children’s grandparents/legal guardians are heading to Lake City to pick them up.
Volusia sheriff’s detectives were notified Sunday night regarding a burglary that had occurred at a vacant property and the suspect was identified as Gutierrez. The property owners showed up at the home and saw Gutierrez walking from the home. The home was found to have been burglarized. The owners contacted the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.
When deputies arrived, Gutierrez failed to provide her ID and then fled the scene with the juveniles in the car. Deputies pursued her and estimated her speed to be 100 mph, then stopped the pursuit when they realized from a BOLO who she was and they observed the children in the car.
The vehicle was later reported as a suspicious vehicle parked and occupied in a rural dead-end street in Lake City. Gutierrez attempted to drive away but was blocked and removed from the vehicle. She was arrested and the children were found unharmed.
More information will be released when it becomes available.
ORIGINAL NEWS RELEASE APPEARS BELOW:
Nov 30, 2019
Contact: Laura Williams, Office of Public Affairs & Media Relations
Photos attached; kids’ names are Izabelle Jones and Xzavier Espinosa.
2 JUVENILES MISSING AFTER VOLUSIA CUSTODY VISIT
DeLand Grandparents Have Custody of Both Kids
Two children last seen with their mother, who lost custody of them, are missing and Volusia sheriff’s deputies need the public’s help to locate them.
Their mother, Margarita Guiterrez, who lives in Marion County, met Friday in DeLand with the two children, and their grandmother who was given custody due to a violent domestic living environment with Guiterrez and her live-in boyfriend.
The unsupervised visit occurred Friday at 12:30 p.m. at Lowe’s in DeLand. The Sheriff’s Office was alerted when Guiterrez failed to return the children, Isabelle Jones, 11, and Xzavier Espinosa, 5, at the required time, 5:30 p.m.
Guiterrez is driving an unknown vehicle. Marion County sheriff’s deputies attempted to contact Guiterrez and the children at Guiterrez’s residence but were unsuccessful.
The children have been registered with state and national databases as missing. Anyone with information to help find these juveniles is asked to call 911 or the Volusia Sheriff’s Office at 386-239-8276. Or to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida at 1-888-277-8477 (TIPS) or via the P3Tips mobile app. You could receive a cash award.
Please help us find these children. Thanks, everyone!
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY, DIAL 911 IF YOU CAN’T CALL, YOU CAN SEND A TEXT TO 911