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Barstow man, son reunited

Child Abduction Unit returns boy home

Staff Writer

BARSTOW• At the tender age of two, Aiden Conde likes to play baseball, pick out his own clothes and play at the park.

And for more than three months, the little boy who won’t cross the street without his dad was gone.

On Sept. 15, George Conde, 21, left for work at the Dominos on West Main Street. His wife, Tiffany, had been acting unusual that evening.

Tiffany Conde had repeatedly told her husband that she loved him and asked to use the credit card to buy diapers for their son, even though the house was stocked full of them. Conde had his suspicions.

At around 11:30 p.m., George Conde came home from work to scattered clothes on the floor and emptied dresser drawers. He was alone.

“I wouldn’t bring anything up, until I see her in person,” he said thoughtfully. “I want to speak with her face to face to see why this happened.”

Conde can speak calmly about it now. About a week before Christmas, two investigators from the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Child Abduction Unit flew to Alabama where police there had tracked down Tiffany and Aiden at her aunt’s home in a remote, wooded area in Moulton.

Fighting frantically against delayed, sold-out and overpriced flights due to the holiday rush, the two investigators were able to return to LAX airport on Dec. 22 to reunite father and son.

It was a three-month ordeal to locate the two, guided by abduction investigators, with assistance from officials in Alabama, the Barstow Police Department and Conde’s attorney, Sandy L. Turner.

After contacting Barstow Police, who began a search, Conde was notified that police investigation had concluded his son and wife were in Alabama.

Conde had his suspicions, since Tiffany’s family lived in Alabama and she had done this before.

In 2010, when Aiden was only a baby, the couple were on a break of sorts, as Tiffany lived in Victorville, and George was living in Moreno Valley.

Unbeknownst to him, Tiffany took Aiden to Alabama where they would live together with her mother. When she came back, the couple decided to file a court order stipulating that neither of them could leave the state with the child again without the written consent from the other.

This time around, Barstow Police were able to make telephone contact with Tiffany, but she refused to provide her exact whereabouts. Alabama officials had concluded she was not living with the mother.

Larry Jackson, who led the CAU investigation along with his partner, Karen Cragg, spoke with enthusiasm and a certain optimistic tinge.

“Now days, its very difficult to hide,” Jackson said. “Swipe a card or whatever and, basically, you’re done.”

Before any investigations, there are safeguards in place to ensure the case is actually what the person is alleging it is. These include checks into child protective services and criminal background checks. Once all is cleared, investigators can move forward, Jackson said.

The abduction unit will try to resolve cases amicably, but when Tiffany wouldn’t give her exact location to police, other measures had to be taken, he noted.

Tiffany was arrested in Moulton where she is currently awaiting extradition to Barstow. She faces two counts of kidnapping charges and two counts of child abduction charges, according to court records.

Conde isn’t quite sure why Tiffany left with their son. He thinks, though, it may have been due, in part, to their squabbling combined with the pressures of being a student and working mother.

“I think she felt she was going through so much — school, work, no communication with her husband,” Conde said.

With regard to Aiden, he’s just happy he's home now.

“He’s very, very smart,” he doted. “He’s a wonderful kid, man.”

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