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Mother relieved as children found in West Virginia
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Two children believed to have been kidnapped from West Michigan are safe and will soon be back at home.
Heather Arredondo says a family friend took 3-year-old Harmony Boyd and her 1-year-old brother Hadden Hopkins to a funeral in West Virginia, and never came back.
The situation changed quickly once the FBI got involved.
62-year-old Aaron Washington is facing two counts of kidnapping after he was arrested Thursday afternoon.
Child Protective Services has the kids and is driving them home at this hour.
Washington shut off his phone for about a week, and for some reason, turned it back on Thursday.
Arredondo arrived at the Battle Creek Police Station overjoyed upon receiving the news that Hadden and Harmony were found safe and sound in Martinsburg, West Virginia.
Her mother's ex-boyfriend Aaron Washington, still a close friend and grandfather figure, was arrested Thursday afternoon for kidnapping.
He was supposed to have the kids back on Monday, or Tuesday at the very latest.
After shutting off his phone for a week, not returning phone calls, or texting, and not using Facebook, he showed up on the social networking site, saying he had no money to come home.
"He turns it on today, there's numerous messages from people," said Det. Sgt. Jim Martens with Battle Creek Police. "He returns our detectives call; he seemed quite surprised for some reason."
The FBI was called in Thursday morning to work the case as well.
The kids were last seen on March 2nd at his apartment in Emmett Township, right before Washington had permission to take them to a funeral service for his family in West Virginia.
Washington has a criminal history, including malicious destruction of property in 2004.
In 2005, he was arrested for operating while intoxicated, and in 2013, he was arrested for assault.
He also has been in trouble several times for driving without a license, at one point receiving 8 days in jail.
We're told Washington had the kids in the first place because his family at the funeral service also had young kids and he wanted them all to meet.