Man arrested in Lynnwood for abducting daughter from California three years ago

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A five-year-old girl abducted from California in 2014 by her biological father was located in Lynnwood on Thursday night. Her father, 48-year-old Michael Stevens, was arrested.

The arrest was made by the Snohomish County Violent Offender Task Force, which includes the U.S. Marshals Service and the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.

Before the arrest was made, the Task Force received an anonymous tip that Stevens could possibly be using the name Michael Lee and selling cars in the Everett area. Investigators were given a possible phone number and located vehicles for sale on Craigslist, possibly by the suspect.

Task Force members arranged to meet the man on Nov. 30 to look at one of the vehicles posted for sale, according to court documents. During that meeting, Stevens was positively identified. A second vehicle arrived at the meeting point shortly after with a girl in the back seat.

After the meeting, both vehicles were followed to the area of the 16200 block of 48th Avenue West in Lynnwood. The girl was taken out of the second vehicle and moved to Stevens’s vehicle.

Investigators then decided to contact Stevens, who was placed under arrest without incident. The girl was determined to be his daughter, the girl reported missing in 2014 from Riverside County, California.

“The successful recovery of this missing 5-year-old child is a great example of multiple agencies from various jurisdictions working together to protect the most vulnerable members of our communities. I would like to thank the anonymous tipster, all of the law enforcement agencies involved, to include the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office and Washington State Child Protective Services, in aiding in the safe recovery of this child,” said U.S. Marshal Jacob Green.

The girl was placed into protective custody and transferred to Child Protective Services. Stevens was evaluated at a local hospital before being booked into the Snohomish County Jail on a charge of fugitive of justice.

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