California Mom Finds Children Missing 15 Years Through Facebook

June 6, 2010 Updated: October 1, 2015

Facebook headquarters is pictured in Palo Alto, California. (GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)
Facebook headquarters is pictured in Palo Alto, California. (GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)
A Southern California mother was able to locate her children, long-ago kidnapped by their father, by placing a simple name search on Facebook, according to numerous media reports.

Recently, the mother searched for her now-teenage daughter on Facebook and discovered her profile. It turned out that the girl really was her daughter, and they began corresponding, according to an MSNBC report. The San Bernardino mother sent the teenager a family photo dating back more than 15 years as part of one of the messages.

Later, the relationship cooled. The teenager said, "Not interested in a relationship. We just have a happy life. Leave us alone," Kurt Rowley, San Bernardino Deputy District Attorney, told MSNBC.

San Bernardino Deputy District Attorney said that the missing children are now a 17-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl. Fifteen years passed since Faustino Utrera, the father of the two toddlers, disappeared with them in 1995.

After the brief reunion through Facebook, the teen’s page disappeared. The mother who still lives in San Bernardino initiated a police investigation, and local authorities tracked down the Facebook profile of the girl to Orlando, Florida.

Utrera, reportedly was then arrested and is now charged with two counts of kidnapping, and two counts of violating child custody orders.