Thursday, May 18, 2017

Congratulations to our Certificate of Excellence Recipients Senior Investigator Karen Cragg and Investigative Technician II Michelle Faxon

Always acknowledging the efforts of others, and never seeking attention during her years of tireless and tenacious work in our Child Abduction Unit, speaks to Karen’s investigative style.

Although each case presents legal and social issues that complicate child abduction cases, few challenged Karen and the team more than the reuniting of 22 years old Steve Hernandez with his mother. Steve was abducted at age 18 months, and taken from his mother in the United States, to Puebla Mexico. The abducting father removed all photographs and documents before fleeing. This case was made through extensive coordination with the Department of Justice and Mexican officials; exhaustive investigation follow-ups; developing a ruse to collect a DNA sample, and committed team work. This investigative story extends far beyond the written limits of recognition, but remains in the hearts of those brought together and those who brought them together. Congratulations for Investigative Excellence.

Always courteous, caring and tactful in her professional role as a member of the Child Abduction Unit, Michelle compliments an incredible DA team. As a fluent Spanish speaker, she was a strong investigative resource that reunited 22 years old Steve Hernandez, a U.S. citizen, abducted by his father at the age of 18 months and missing the past 20 plus years with his mother.

This mother and son were reunited after extensive coordination with the Department of Justice and the Mexican officials. Using her Spanish language skills and developing a ruse to collect a DNA sample to confirm identity, and getting cooperation from the Mexican officials, Michelle had a key role in the emotional conclusion to this case. Clearing the immigration checkpoint into the U.S., Steve was accompanied to the San Bernardino County District’s Attorney’s Office to see his mother for the first time since 1995. The matter had extensive local, national and international attention. Michelle’s contributions to this case were significant.

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