Kidnapped kids found, mom arrested for drugs

Posted: Updated:

PHOENIX -- After a massive search, two children kidnapped from their Phoenix home during an early morning home invasion were found safe and their mother was later arrested.

Kids back with mom

Kids kidnapped during break-in safely with officers - After a massive hours-long search, two children kidnapped from their Phoenix home during an early morning break-in were found safe.

Related videos:
Search Video:

At about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, four armed African American men busted into a home in the area of 28th Avenue and Indian School Road, yelling that they were the police and demanding money.

The mother hid in a closet with her two children. The men, however, found them and pulled those kids -- a 2-year-old boy, Jesus Sandoval Nuez, and his 11-month-old sister, Vanessa -- from her and took off with them.

Some five hours later, word came in that the children had been found unhurt. Aerial video showed them safely tucked into the arms of Phoenix police officers.

Sgt. Andy Hill of the Phoenix Police Department said Jesus and Vanessa were dropped off at a home in the area of Central Avenue and Baseline Road.

"Somebody beat on the door," said the owner of that home, who wanted to remain anonymous."I looked through the curtain and saw the two babies out there screaming their heads off. That was it. I brought them inside and called 911."

Police arrived at the home within five minutes. Officers then took Jesus and Vanessa to the police station where they were handed into the waiting arms of their relieved aunts. Their mother was anxiously waiting for them inside. Their father reportedly is out of the country.

The homeowner who found the children said there was no sign of anybody else in his yard.

The search for those four men continues. One suspect was described as 5 feet 5 inches tall and heavy set. He was wearing a camouflage ballistic vest, a black ball cap and jean shorts.

The second suspect was described as being thin and wearing a dark green T-shirt and blue or black jean pants.

The third suspect was described as 5 feet 5 inches tall with a medium build. He was wearing a dark blue short-sleeve shirt and jeans.

The fourth suspect was only described as being black.

Hours after it all happened, officers were still on the scene of the home invasion-style robbery. Police got a search warrant and searched inside the house and combed through the scene. Investigators believed robbery was the motive for the break-in. The kids mother, 20-year-old Marisa Sandoval, was eventualy taken into custody after detectives discovered several pounds of methamphetamine along with drug paraphernalia. She faces charges of possession of dangerous drugs for sale.Her kids are with family as investigators contact Child Protection Services (CPS).

According to investigators, the suspects' vehicle is a white 1990s Honda or Toyota with darkly tinted windows. That's the car they were in when they left the scene with the children. A white Chevy Silverado pickup truck with a Cadillac emblem on the front grill was also in the area; it was seen in the alley near 27th Avenue and Indian School Road.

Anyone with information as to the suspects' identity or location is asked to call Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS. For Spanish call 480-TESTIGO.