POCATELLO (AP) — Two young children are safe after police say they escaped from the back seat of a stolen car in Idaho.
The ordeal began when their father stopped to help another car seen stuck along the side of an icy highway.
Idaho State Police said the two kids were under 12 years old and sitting in the back seat of a 2007 Pontiac sedan as their father drove southbound on Interstate 15 near Pocatello on the night of Jan. 11, the Idaho State Journal reported.
As the father got out of the car to try to help a 2015 Dodge Dart that appeared stranded in the snow-covered median, state police said, 24-year-old Raymond Aguirre and 29-year-old Bobbe Jo Torres jumped into the Pontiac and sped away with the children still inside.
The hunt for the Pontiac began almost immediately, as state police were already on their way to assist the Dart that had slid off the highway in winter weather.
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Officers were also aided by witnesses who reported where the car exited the highway.
Within an hour, Pocatello police found the Pontiac parked at a home. Authorities said Aguirre and Torres were inside the home, without the children, and they were arrested but were uncooperative.
Soon after, a family member of the children called police to report that the kids had escaped and walked to a relative’s home nearby.
Police checked on them and returned them to their father unharmed. The family isn’t being identified, but police said they are from the Pocatello area.
Aguirre and Torres are being held at the Bannock County Jail on grand theft charges. It was unknown if they had an attorney to speak on their behalf.