A Murrieta judge Thursday suspended further criminal proceedings against a 41-year-old Menifee woman accused of fleeing with her two children during a child custody exchange and leading law enforcement officers on a pursuit into Mexico, seeking psychiatric analyses regarding her mental fitness.
Katheryn Rose Broersma was arrested by federal authorities in January after she returned from an overnight stay south of the border with her children.
Broersma is charged with two counts each of child concealing and child endangerment, along with a misdemeanor count of violating a court order.
During a status hearing at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Elaine Kiefer received a report from a psychologist pertaining to the defendant’s mental health, though the contents of the filing were not disclosed.
Based on the evaluation, Kiefer ordered additional analyses and halted criminal proceedings until they’re completed. Another hearing is set for April 20.
Broersma is being held without bail at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside.
According to Menifee police Capt. Heriberto Gutierrez, about 7 p.m. on Jan. 14, the defendant met with relatives of her former spouse, whose identity was not disclosed, in the 29000 block of Antelope Road, near Wendover Road, to return her 6- and 8-year-old kids to their father.
Gutierrez alleged that after the children were situated in the relatives’ vehicle, Broersma jumped behind the wheel and sped away, prompting immediate calls to 911.
“Family members were able to track the suspect via her cell phone, and she was located in the area of the Interstate 215/60 freeway (interchange),” the captain said.
He said sheriff’s deputies signaled the defendant to pull over, but she refused, “and a vehicle pursuit ensued.”
“The vehicle traveled into the San Diego area, where officers from the Escondido Police Department took over the pursuit,” Gutierrez said. “The suspect was able to evade officers when she crossed the border and entered into Mexico.”
No effort was made to track the vehicle in Tijuana.
Gutierrez said U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents were alerted to the alleged parental abduction and advised that Broersma might attempt to re-enter the country, which she did the following morning at the San Ysidro Port of Entry in San Diego County.
The captain said agents stopped the vehicle at the border crossing and took the defendant into custody without incident. The children, who were uninjured, were returned to their father the same day.
Broersma has no documented prior felony or misdemeanor convictions in Riverside County.