Updated at 5:02 p.m., Dec. 11, 2014
Four Los Angeles-area boys who were subjects of an Amber Alert were found safe in San Diego County Thursday and their father was arrested in connection with the death of his wife, whose body was found in the trunk of a family car.
Erica Perez, 39, was confirmed to be the person whose remains were found in the family’s sedan Wednesday, Montebello police said about 4 p.m.
Perez’s husband, Daniel Perez, 43, of Montebello, reportedly was hit by a bean-bag projectile, made a brief apparent attempt to jump off the overpass near Santee, and then was swarmed by officers. He was hogtied and struggled dramatically as he was loaded into a CHP cruiser, following the standoff this morning on the freeway ramp.
Two boys had already left the car, but the other brothers were in the vehicle with their father, and were safely recovered on the overpass as television viewers watched, Montebello police Capt. Luis Lopez said.
Daniel Perez had stopped the black 2014 Toyota Camry he was driving in the middle of the eastbound state Route 52 connector road to southbound state Route 67 about 8:30 a.m., according to California Highway Patrol officers.
Perez refused to come out of the car, but two of his children exited from the passenger side and walked or ran toward the officers amassed behind the vehicle.
About 9:50 a.m., two SWAT vehicles pulled up to the front and the back of the Camry.
Perez exited the car with one boy and the other slowly followed as he walked away from the vehicle. Officers in full tactical gear were able to tackle the suspect and take him into custody, while the two boys were led away.
Officers began pursuing Perez about 8 a.m. in El Cajon.
A CHP spokesman said officers located Perez using the Lo-Jack tracking device installed on the Camry.
During the standoff on the elevated freeway ramp, about a dozen law enforcement cruisers and SUVs were parked behind the Camry, and officers with weapons drawn were just yards from the car.
Perez was talking to law enforcement via cellphone, the CHP said.
The arrests ended a nearly weeklong mystery involving the Perez family, which had been last seen Friday. Police on Wednesday asked for public help tracking down the family, adding that extended family members described the couple’s marriage as unstable and bedeviled by domestic violence.
Early this morning, an Amber Alert was issued for Alex Hayden Perez, 6, Tristin Devin Perez, 8, Jaden Eric Perez, 9, and Jordan Dante Perez, 11, according to the CHP.
The alert went into effect at 1:38 a.m., CHP Officer Francisco Villalobos said.
—Staff and wire reports
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