New questions about timeline of alleged kidnapping - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

New questions about timeline of alleged kidnapping

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OCEANSIDE (CBS 8) - An Amber Alert issued Monday in response to the apparent abduction of a 12-year-old boy in Long Beach was canceled after the boy was found safe and his mother taken into custody in Oceanside, according to the Long Beach Police Department.

Nicholas Johnston, 12, went missing March 6, when the boy's mother Sri Johnston, 49, failed to return him to his father after an overnight scheduled visit. Police say an alert was not immediately issued because the initial information they received did not meet the criteria for an Amber Alert.

The two were located in Oceanside at about 2:40 p.m. Monday, police said. Sri Johnston was taken into custody in a restaurant parking lot, where her vehicle reportedly broke down.

"I saw the police and the commotion going on and I was just assumed it was searching a vehicle," said Clint Prom.

He works nearby and couldn't get to his car.

Employees at Q Restaurant served the two. Brent Peterson told CBS News 8 he had just waited on the two before authorities showed up.

"They didn't seem rushed at all. They didn't seem like anything was wrong," Peterson said.

Peterson adds the woman told him she and her son just moved into the area and were looking for an apartment to rent.

"They came in for lunch she was really, really nice actually and he was really nice. That's when she started asking questions like, ‘hey we are new to the area and we are looking for an apartment,'" said Petersen.

A customer saw the commotion and took pictures of the incident.

"She was really distraught, in the position she was, she was crying," said Erika Howell.

Both Howell and Peterson didn't feel the boy was in danger.

"He was totally fine, he was really nice," said Petersen.

Both received the alerts on their smartphone earlier in the day but pictures were not available and they didn't recognize the two from the information described by law enforcement.

"We were all sitting inside and we all got an Amber Alert at the same time. You would never think you would be sitting down and enjoying a meal and then go outside and see the actual person arrested," said Howell.

Long Beach police say Sri Johnston is charged with kidnapping. She is being held on a $500,000 bond in the Long Beach City jail.

Nicholas was expected to be reunited with his father sometime Monday.

CBS News 8 looked into the history of California Amber Alert Activations and found parents are often connected to Amber Alerts. In 2013, there were 12 activations and 5 involved parental abductions.

To ensure you receive Amber Alert notifications check your smartphone settings. Some carriers or older phones do not have this feature.

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