A 24-year-old Riverside man accused of abducting his two baby daughters after a fight with their mother and driving to Utah, where he was apprehended four days later, pleaded not guilty Thursday to kidnapping and other offenses.
Joshua Adle was arrested on Aug. 2 following a nationwide manhunt.
Along with two counts of kidnapping, Adle is charged with two counts of child endangerment, as well as one count each of assault resulting in great bodily injury and battery on a domestic partner.
Adle was arraigned before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Jacqueline Jackson, who scheduled a felony settlement conference for Aug. 27 at the Riverside Hall of Justice. Adle is being held in lieu of $750,000 bail at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside.
According to Riverside police, Adle and his live-in girlfriend, whose name was not disclosed, got into an argument at their mutual residence in the 3100 block of Grace Street on the night of July 30.
The dispute escalated into a physical confrontation, during which he allegedly struck the woman, who put their two daughters — 8-month-old Emma Yonko and 18-month-old Darla Yonko — to bed and exited the property to relieve tensions, police spokesman Officer Ryan Railsback said.
Railsback alleged that between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m., Adle snatched the girls and fled in a Dodge van. When the mother returned, she found the children gone and called 911.
Over the ensuing four days, law enforcement agencies throughout the nation were alerted to the abduction, and investigators became aware that individuals identifying themselves as friends or relatives of Adle were in contact with him, Railsback said.
“They were given every opportunity to facilitate the safe return of the children but maintained their lack of cooperation,” he said.
Photographs of Adle and the children were broadcast nationally, and on Aug. 2, a Utah state trooper spotted Adle’s van on Interstate 15 in Cedar City, where the lawman conducted a traffic stop and encountered Adle, two other adults and the victims.
The adults were taken into custody without a struggle, and Emma and Darla, neither of whom were injured, were placed in the care of child welfare workers, who arranged an expedited reunion with their anxious mother.
The parties arrested alongside the defendant, Frank Marks and Angela Yonko, identified as his parents, were booked into the Iron County Jail. Charges have not been filed against them in Riverside County, and it was unknown whether authorities in Utah intended to pursue the matter.
Adle was returned to California on Aug. 6. He has no documented prior felony convictions.