The FBI launched a manhunt for an ex-con accused of kidnapping two young brothers and stealing a car from a priest who had helped bail him out of jail on child-sex charges just weeks ago.
Boyd Dean Weekley, 24, is suspected of abducting 11-year-old Adan Alvarado and his 3-year-old brother, Eleazar, members of a family of migrant farm workers from Mission, Texas.
The three were seen Friday and Saturday in Montgomery, Ala., and the search continued, the FBI said Monday.
“We have a confirmed sighting of Mr. Weekley and the two children,” said Chuck Goodwin, a spokesman for an FBI task force handling the case. “It appears that the children were safe and well, and we’re optimistic that they’ll stay that way.”
The boys disappeared Oct. 14 after buying chips at a store outside Benton Harbor while their mother was washing clothes at a coin laundry next door.
Weekley had been held in South Dakota on charges he fondled an 8-year-old girl in a swimming pool, but was released about a month ago after the Rev. Larry Rucker raised $500 to secure his $5,000 bail.
“I’m convinced he’s not going to hurt them if he has them,” Rucker said from Sioux Falls, S.D.
Rucker and Weekley met at a prison in Sioux Falls. Rucker was a chaplain there, and Weekley was serving time for forgery and attempted escape. He got out in 1994.
Weekley was arrested again in August after being accused of fondling a girl. His $5,000 bail was guaranteed by a bondsman after relatives and Rucker came up with the fee.