Mother Arrested, Children Found Safe

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Lake City, FL - The Ocala woman accused of taking custody of her kids illegally was arrested overnight in Columbia County.

The Volusia Sheriff's Office said on Friday (November 29th) that the two children, 11-year-old Isabelle Jones and her brother, 5-year-old Xzavier Espinosa, were reported missing after 29-year-old Margarita Gutierrez failed to bring them back after an unsupervised visit.

Then, yesterday (December 1st), Volusia detectives were notified of a burglary in Columbia County and Guiterrez was labeled as the suspect. The property owners showed up and saw Gutierrez walking away from the home. The home was found to have been burglarized. The owners contacted the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.

When CCSO deputies found Guiterrez, she failed to provide and ID and fled the scene with children in her car. Deputies chased her at an estimated speed of 100 mph, then stopped once they realized from an alert who she was and because she had children in her car.

The same vehicle was later reported as a suspicious vehicle parked and occupied on a rural dead-end road in Lake City. Gutierrez attempted to drive away but was blocked and removed from the vehicle. She was arrested and the children were found unharmed.

She now faces multiple charges in Volusia and Columbia. She remains in custody in Lake City. The legal guardians of the children are heading to Lake City to pick them up.

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