Man arrested 18 years after he failed to return 2-year-old son to mother

Kristin M. Kraemer, Tri-City HeraldMay 2, 2012 

A 49-year-old man is in custody 18 years after he allegedly took his then-toddler son to Mexico for a trip and failed to return the boy at summer's end to his ex-wife.

Federico Delgado pleaded innocent Tuesday in Franklin County Superior Court to one count of first-degree custodial interference.

The charge -- involving his now 20-year-old son -- was filed in June 1996.

It wasn't clear Tuesday how Delgado was arrested, but Prosecutor Shawn Sant said police likely checked his name during a routine traffic stop and discovered the arrest warrant.

Court documents show Delgado and Maria Guadalupe Gomez divorced in December 1993 in Franklin County and she was given full custody of their 2-year-old son.

Delgado was granted visitation, which included a 21/2-month leave out of state with the child.

He was told the visit could not be extended "other than for emergency reasons," and was instructed to give his location in Mexico to his ex-wife, documents said.

Delgado left with his son, Jose, on June 23, 1994. He failed to give Gomez the correct location of where they would be, never called her during the summer to let her know how the boy was doing and didn't return in September 1994, prosecutors said.

When the charge was filed two years later, Gomez told prosecutors she believed her ex-husband was working in the United States at the time as a laborer.

The son's whereabouts today are not known, Sant said. It also is not clear if Gomez still lives in the area.

Franklin County jail records show Delgado was booked into the Franklin County jail on Saturday for the custodial interference in addition to a third-degree driving with a suspended or revoked license.

Defense attorney Shelley Ajax was appointed to represent Delgado, who also uses the name Jose Castillo Delgado.

In court Tuesday, Ajax said she may argue at a future hearing about the timeliness of Delgado's prosecution and the statute of limitations.

Delgado is being held on $5,000 bail. His trial is scheduled for June 27.

-- Kristin M. Kraemer: 582-1531;

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