Leonard Dale Tuttle Jr. (pictured), 30, the man accused of taking his former girlfriend's daughters from a Willows home about 9:30 this morning, has been arrested on suspicion of child stealing, kidnapping and conspiracy. Shortly after 8 this evening, Willows police officers also arrested 45-year-old Melissa Britton. She, too, is accused of child stealing, kidnapping and conspiracy, according to a Police Department news release.
Both Tuttle and Britton were booked into Glenn County Jail.
Willows police credited the Amber Alert with the safe recovery of two children and Tuttle's surrender.
Randi Martinez, 2, and Vanessa Martinez, 5, were reportedly abducted in the Glenn County community at 9:30 this morning. Police said Tuttle and the girls' mother, Nancy Martinez, 29, had been involved in a relationship in Covelo in Mendocino County, but Martinez fled about a week ago with her children and they were staying with family in Willows.
Tuttle reportedly arrived in Willows on Thursday night and the two discussed getting back together, but Martinez refused. While she was in the shower this morning, Tuttle left with Martinez's children, saying he was taking them to a Walmart in Willows to buy them each a gift. When he had not returned two hours later, Martinez called police.
A statewide Amber Alert was issued describing the youngsters, Tuttle and the suspect vehicle, a white Mitsubishi Lancer with California license plate 5PIB347.
Willows police said they were notified at 2:23 p.m. by the California Highway Patrol that the CHP had made contact with Tuttle and were detaining him near Covelo. The CHP reported that the children were unharmed and in protective custody.
Police said that as a result of the Amber Alert, a motorist spotted the Mitsubishi on northbound Highway 101 and notified the CHP.
Tuttle surrendered to officers without incident, officials said.