• Deputies: Grandmother batters pregnant babysitter, takes boy from Florida home

    By: Kelly Healey

    Updated:

    DELEON SPRINGS, Fla. - A woman was arrested after she forced her way inside a babysitter’s home, battered her and took the roommate’s 3-year-old son, Volusia County deputies said.

    The 25-year-old pregnant babysitter called 911 Wednesday from the home on Tomoka Woods Parkway in DeLeon Springs.   

    Deputies said Bonita Soto, 68, of DeLand, was the child’s grandmother and was not allowed to take care of the boy because of substance abuse issues.

    Soto fled in a car that was later located driving on International Speedway Boulevard, deputies said.

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    “Despite having minimal information to go on, by 10:26 a.m., Crime Center analysts had already identified the suspect and her vehicle and distributed a photograph of the vehicle by email,” a news release said.

    Soto was pulled over and arrested. The child was not injured, deputies said.

    The boy was returned to his father, who is Soto’s son, authorities said.

    Soto was charged with burglary with battery and felony battery (battery of a pregnant person).

    The boy’s father chose not to pursue kidnapping charges against his mother, deputies said.

    “What began as the apparent abduction of a 3-year-old boy by a family member Wednesday morning was quickly thwarted by deputies and ended peacefully, thanks to information technology used by crime analysts in our Volusia County Crime Center, known as VC3,” a news release said.

    Soto remains in the Volusia County Branch Jail on $35,000 bail.

    The Sheriff’s Office said VC3 analysts “continually assist in active criminal cases with investigative leads that may help identify or locate a suspect or support probable cause for an arrest.”



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