RED RIVER, N.M. (KRQE) – A Texas child missing for months has been found safe in New Mexico.
Jordan Lane was allegedly abducted by his mom in September, but thanks to an alert preschool teacher, has now been reunited with his dad.
Lane was abducted after a tense custody battle, ending with his father winning full custody. What the dad didn’t know is that the two hadn’t gotten far.
The marshal’s office in Red River says the pair were hiding out there in a hotel. Pre-school teacher Melissa Smith lives nearby.
“He lived right in front of our house, just right there in our neighborhood across the street, and we never saw him,” said Melissa Smith.
Eventually Melissa Smith met Jordan and his mom, earlier this year. The encounter left her with a bad feeling.
“She noticed that the child’s appearance had been changed every so often, the haircut would change, the color of the hair would change, so it really got her attention,” said Red River Marshal David Smith.
Then a relative of Smith’s husband, living in Texas, posted Jordan’s missing poster on Facebook. Smith said the child she had met looked like Jordan, so she started digging.
Marshal David Smith said, “If she was working for me I’d say she was an excellent detective. She did excellent detective work and I just took the initiative.”
With Smith’s info, Red River Marshals confronted Kodi Lane on Sunday at a restaurant. They say at first she gave a fake name but then broke down and admitted who she really was.
Jordan’s dad, who hadn’t seen his son in nearly a year, drove through the night for their long awaited reunion.
Melissa Smith said, “It was probably the coolest thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life for them to embrace. I was happy that he was happy.”
“We bawled like babies, I mean, it was just a really, really touching moment, to see a dad reunited with a child that, who in his own words, had come to the realization that there was a chance he would never see his son again,” said Marshal Smith.
Both the Marshals and Melissa Smith say this case shows just how vital social media has become in finding missing children, and that people should always trust their gut when they think something is wrong.
The Marshal’s Office believes Lane picked Red River to hide out because a family friend owns a lodge there.