Orange County

Mom, boyfriend accused of taking 3-year-old girl in Apopka to make first appearance

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — A 3-year-old girl’s mother and her boyfriend behind an Amber Alert out of Apopka are behind bars and expecting to see a judge Saturday.

Tania Fortin-Duarte and Kevin Olmedo-Velis were brought back to Orange County Thursday after spending most of the week in Leon County.

Investigators said the couple took 3-year-old Madeline Mejia from her home early Monday morning.

READ MORE: Apopka dad made up abduction story after 3-year-girl was taken by her mom, police say

The girl was found safe hours later near Tallahassee.

Detectives said Fortin-Duarte does not have custody of the child, but Madeline’s father lied about how she was taken because he feared he wouldn’t be able to see her again.

Madeline’s father, Lester Mejia, originally told police he’d heard his toddler daughter scream while he was inside his home, and then followed the car that took her until he lost sight of it on the highway. He told police he didn’t have his phone on him in the car, and that he returned home to Apopka to call police Monday morning, which triggered the Amber Alert.

READ MORE: ‘It was anguish not knowing’: 3-year-old girl reunited with family in Apopka after being abducted

Officers said Mejia has lawful custody of Madeline, and that Fortin-Duarte did unlawfully remove Madeline from his custody.

Fortin-Duarte and Olmedo-Velis both face charges of interference with custody.

Christopher Boyce,

Christopher Boyce joined WFTV in January of 2019.

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