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Police stop couple with boy near border

Boy, 7, returned to his Gresham mother
by: contributed photo, Melvin Williams

Police foiled a possible kidnapping of a 7-year-old Gresham boy when they stopped the suspect - a registered sex offender - just 30 miles from the California border.

Melvin Williams, 30, of Sacramento is being held on $10,000 bail at the Justice Center Jail on charges of first-degree attempted custodial interference and second-degree custodial interference for trying to take a child across state lines without the consent of the boy's mother, said Officer Mike Dalby, a Gresham police spokesman.

Williams and his wife were in Gresham visiting a 24-year-old woman and her son. The woman told police that she thinks Williams is the boy's father but has not confirmed it, Dalby said.

At about 2:45 p.m. Thursday, July 27, the woman's sister was watching the boy at his home in the 24000 block of Southeast Stark Street while the boy's mother was at school.

The sister left the boy alone with Williams and his wife for 15 minutes. When she returned at 3 p.m., the boy, some of his belongings, as well as the couple, were gone.

Gresham and Multnomah County Sheriff's Office detectives learned that Williams might have be returning to California with the boy. They also discovered that Williams was a registered sex offender due to crimes committed when Williams was 11 years old.

Detectives alerted all law enforcement agencies to be on the look out for Williams' car. Dalby said the case didn't qualify for an Amber alert because the boy wasn't considered to be in immediate harm due to the on-going father-son relationship he had with the suspect. Also, the suspect had no history of violence with the boy.

At 7:30 p.m., the Jackson County Sheriff's Office stopped Williams' car about 30 miles from the California border and placed the boy in protective custody. The boy was unharmed and has been returned to his mother, Dalby said.