MORGAN COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — The Morgan County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after a biological mother allegedly kidnapped her children from their grandparent, stole a truck, and later crashed it.
The incident started on Aug 1. around 5:40 a.m. when a grandparent reported to the sheriff’s office that someone took her grandchildren, boys who are 5 and 7 years old, sometime overnight.
During the investigation, the sheriff’s office learned that the children were taken some time after 2 a.m. by their biological mother, Juanita Morales, 30. The sheriff’s office said Morales does not have custody of the children due to a court order.
A 2012 Chevrolet Silverado truck was also reported as stolen from the grandmother’s home, the sheriff’s office said.
The sheriff’s office said they started working with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and were about to send an Amber Alert for the boys and the stolen truck, when the 911 call center received a report of a crash involving a truck that matched the description from the kidnapping.
The rollover crash was reported on Interstate 76, around half a mile west of the Fort Morgan Port of Entry, the sheriff’s office said.
When sheriff’s deputies arrived at the crash scene, they determined that it was the same vehicle that was reported stolen and Morales was driving. Her two children were also in the truck at the time of the crash. They were taken to the hospital, treated for non-life-threatening injuries, and released to family.
Morales was also taken to the hospital in an unknown condition. The sheriff’s office said that once she is released from the hospital, she will be taken to the Morgan County Jail.
The sheriff’s office said Morales has a “multitude” of arrest warrants for failure to appear in various courts. She also faces the following charges:
- First-degree kidnapping
- First-degree burglary
- First-degree criminal trespass
- Motor vehicle theft
- Identity theft
- Two counts of child abuse
- Two counts of reckless endangerment
The sheriff’s office said Morales’ bond will be set at $100,000.