A Texas mother's 17-year-long search for her son who authorities say was taken by his father is over after the grown-up son apparently saw a newspaper story about himself and persuaded his dad to turn himself in.
Stephen Palacios Jr. of Waco was held Friday on charges of interference with child custody. He and his son went to a Houston attorney's office Thursday where the father surrendered to federal authorities.
Deputy U.S. Marshal Alfredo Perez on Friday told The Associated Press that the elder Palacios would remain in custody in Houston until McLennan County authorities retrieved him to face charges. Perez said he believed the son was staying Friday with family members, but he declined to release further details.
The father "was motivated today by what is best for his son," Palacios' attorney Paul Nugent said Thursday. Nugent did not immediately return a message Friday from The Associated Press.
Palacios was living in Waco when he and his wife divorced and the father and son disappeared.
The boy was reported missing March 28, 1993, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children website. A felony warrant for custodial interference was issued for the father.
Dee Ann Adams, who since remarried and is living in Bedford, had primary custody of her son, who turns 21 on Sept. 21.
Details on where her ex-husband and child have been, plus plans for the woman to reunite with her son, were not released. No publicly listed phone number was available Friday for the mother.
Adams says authorities told her that her son saw an Aug. 29 Waco Tribune-Herald story about his disappearance and insisted that his father surrender to authorities.
"I was told that Stephen Michael somehow saw the article in your newspaper and told his dad that he wanted to meet his mom," the mother told the Waco-Tribune Herald. "Stephen Michael told him, 'I want to meet my mom and I want you to do the right thing and get this taken care of now.'"
McLennan County prosecutor Susan Shafer called the mother Thursday afternoon to notify her that her son had been found.
"Mr. Palacios has always acted out of love for his son and by what he thought was in his son's best interest," said Nugent. "He is a good man, and if he has made some mistakes in judgment, he will have to deal with that now."