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UPDATE: Missing Castaic girl found in Louisiana

Father taken into custody, charged with parental abduction

Posted: January 30, 2014 10:19 a.m.
Updated: January 30, 2014 2:08 p.m.
Two-year-old Shae Rebel, left, and her father Jesse Rebel, right. Two-year-old Shae Rebel, left, and her father Jesse Rebel, right.
Two-year-old Shae Rebel, left, and her father Jesse Rebel, right.

A 2-year-old Castaic girl missing since November — and her father now charged with parental abduction — were living in a Louisiana mobile home park inside a newly purchased RV when a sheriff’s deputy found them Wednesday during a routine traffic stop, a sheriff’s spokesman said.

Shae Rebel was found safely buckled in her car seat inside an RV after the vehicle was stopped for having expired licence plates, Deputy Chief Horace Womack of the DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office in Mansfield, La., told The Signal Thursday.

The little girl, whose name and photo remained posted these last two months on the website for National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, was placed in the care of the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services.

On Thursday morning, the girl’s mother, Brandi, boarded a plane for Louisiana to be reunited with her daughter, Womack said.

Brandi Rebel’s ordeal began at 4:50 p.m. on Nov. 21 when she first reported her daughter missing.

On Jan. 9, local sheriff’s deputies revealed they were actively looking for the girl and her father in what they believed was a case of parental abduction, Deputy Josh Dubin of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station said at that time.

Local sheriff’s Detective Dave Campbell, in charge of the case, issued a warrant for the arrest of Jesse Rebel.

On Wednesday, he received the phone call he had been waiting for, that Shae Rebel had been found unharmed.

“It’s a happy ending,” Campbell said Thursday morning.

Many of the questions that remained unanswered for weeks about the girl’s disappearance were answered Wednesday once deputies had a chance to talk to the girl’s father.

Late Wednesday afternoon, Deputy Landon Williams of the DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office stopped the driver of an RV when he noticed that the licence plates had expired.

“He also noticed that driver had a North Dakota driver’s licence and that he was extremely nervous,” Womack said in reference to the arresting deputy.

When Williams ran the driver’s name he found the warrant issued in Santa Clarita for Rebel’s arrest.

“The driver was arrested without incident.” Womack said. “He told the deputy he was unaware there was a warrant for his arrest.”

The father and daughter had been living for a couple of weeks in an RV park in “tiny rural” Desoto Parish, south of Shreveport, La., and less than 20 miles east of the Texas state line.

When deputies searched the RV they found the missing girl and “several thousand dollars” in cash,” he said.

Shortly after Shae Rebel’s disappearance, her father reportedly drove to North Dakota where he once lived and purchased an RV, Womack said.

“He cashed out some bank accounts and purchased the RV,” he said. “He also got some retirement money from a previous job.  He apparently had pre-planned what he was going to do.  

“He was riding around the country,” he said.

Jesse Rebel is expected to be brought to California to face a criminal charges, Campbell said.

“He was charged with parental abduction and is to be extradited to California within the next 10 days,” he said.
On Twitter @jamesarthurholt


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