Two small children and their dog were all found safe and unharmed inside an RV, capping a day of intrigue and pursuit that began with a brief chase in the SCV in the morning and ended in an orchard north of Bakersfield. The man law enforcement officials believe is responsible for an alleged abduction, however, is still at large.
The children allegedly kidnapped by suspect Stephen Houk were located unharmed inside the pursuit vehicle shortly after the pursuit came to an end in Bakersfield about 6 p.m. Tuesday, officials with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station announced early Wednesday.
“The children were found unharmed in the motorhome,” Lt. Steven Williams of the Kern County Sheriff’s Station told The Signal on Wednesday morning.
Houk is a registered sex offender with the state of Oregon and currently on parole for a sex offense.
He is also wanted by the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station assault with a deadly weapon, child abduction, terrorist threats, and evading.
Suspect Houk is described as a male, white, 46 years-old, 5 feet, 11 inches, 190 pounds, with brown hair and hazel eyes. He has a cow skull tattoo on his right forearm. He is considered armed and dangerous by law enforcement officials.
Both children, an 11-month-old and a 3-year-old, have since been reunited with their mother. The dog that was seen in video footage during the pursuit, was also located safe inside the vehicle.
California Highway Patrol officials said the pursuit of Stephen Houk, that led law enforcement from Los Angeles to Bakersfield mid-afternoon Tuesday, ended at an orchard on Merced Avenue and Zerker Road, in Bakersfield.
A containment was established and a search of the orchard began.
After an extensive search over several hours by CHP, Kern County Sheriff’s and Bakersfield Police Department personnel, Houk was not located and the containment was broken down at approximately 11:00 p.m., Tuesday, the LASD said in news release Wednesday.
The LASD and law enforcement in Bakersfield will follow-up on any leads and tips from the public as to the whereabouts of Houk.
Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Santa Clarita Station at (661) 255-1121. If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile APP on Google play or the Apple App Store or by using the website https://lacrimestoppers.org