Sailboat Kidnapping: Mother Assists in the Search

The mother of two children who were abducted in South City Tuesday will help authorities in the search.

South San Francisco police and the U.S. Coast Guard are continuing the search for a father suspected of fleeing with his two kidnapped children aboard a stolen yacht, police said.

Jennifer Nipon, the mother of the two children said that the couple has shared custody of the children, which is why an amber alert was not initially issued.

"I'm afraid for my children's lives," Nihon said. "He has got a sailboat and he is somewhere out in the ocean. I'm not sure where he is now."

The U.S. Coast Guard has advised mariners who come in contact with the 40-foot sailing vessel and its occupants to stay away and contact local authorities immediately.

The children were abducted in the 100 block of James Court in South San Francisco on Tuesday at about 3 p.m. Police believe that the two children were abducted by their father, Christopher Maffei, 43, who fled in a rented white Ford Fusion.

Brooklynn Maffei, 3, was last seen wearing a white, sleeveless dress with a blue and green design. Her brother Devin Maffei, 2, was last seen wearing a short-sleeve Sponge Bob t-shirt and a diaper.

Police said their investigation determined that Maffei drove to Ballena Isle Marina in Alameda where he stole a yacht and sailed away with the two  children. The rental car was discovered at the marina and towed for evidence.

The yacht is named "Unleashed" and has "San Francisco, CA" painted on the stern. The yacht was last see at about 6 p.m. on Wednesday in the area of Mare Island near Vallejo.

The investigation has revealed that Christopher Maffei visited the owner of the vessel and inquired about purchasing the sailboat two weeks ago prior to the theft, police said.

Maffei has said in the past that he would like to sail to Monterey or Mexico, according to police. State, county and federal agencies have been alerted to watch for Maffei, the yacht and the two children.

Anyone who spots them has been asked to contact South San Francisco police at (650) 877-8900.

--Bay City News


Michele September 07, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Is it kidnapping if he had shared custody of the kids?


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