Children Found Safe, Mom Arrested After Amber Alert - NBC Connecticut

Children Found Safe, Mom Arrested After Amber Alert

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    Children Found Safe, Mom Arrested After Amber Alert

    Two children believed to have been kidnapped by their mother on Thursday morning have been found safe, according to police. (Published Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015)

    Two children believed to have been kidnapped by their mother on Thursday morning have been found safe, according to police.

    The children - Nathalia Portela Coelho, 7, and her brother, Nathan Portela Coelho, 8 - were reportedly kidnapped by their mother, 33-year-old Bruna Gomes. She was arrested in Yarmouth, Massachusetts, around 3:48 p.m.

    Bruna Gomes, 33, was arrested Thursday in Yarmouth, Massachusetts, for kidnapping her young children.
    Photo credit: David Curran/SatelliteNewsService.com

    The children were at their father's apartment at 94 Walnut St. in Abington around 9:20 a.m. when Gomes allegedly knocked on the door and announced "Abington Police - open the door!"

    When the door opened, Gomes sprayed pepper spray in the eyes of the person who opened it. She then forcefully entered the apartment and physically removed her two children, police said.

    "They protested," said Mike Szymanski, an attorney representing their father, Bruno Coelho. "They didn't want it to happen."

    An Amber Alert was issued on Thursday afternoon. Police said they were concerned for the health and welfare of the children due to the violent manner in which they were taken.

    "Based upon the manner of the way this person entered the apartment, took the children, assaulted a person inside the apartment... certainly based on all that evidence we're certainly concerned about the welfare and safety of the children," Abington Police Chief David Majenski said about an hour before the children were found.

    Szymanski called it a very scary situation.

    "We're going to get the kids now. DCF is with the kids, a judge ordered dad full custody," he said. "We're going to go down, pick them up now, and bring them home."

    "I feel bad for the kids, they were probably scared to death," said neighbor Eleanor Coburn.

    Gomes, who has a last known address of 3 Orient Avenue in Everett, Massachusetts, has ties to the Weymouth and Stoughton, Massachusetts, areas and it was believed that she might have been heading to the area of Cape Cod or Martha's Vineyard.

    Pings on Gomes' cell phone led investigators to the area where she was found. An officer spotted her blue Nissan Quest minivan in traffic, but when he tried to get to her, she was gone.

    A manager at the Econolodge motel in Yarmouth recognized Gomes' vehicle and called police, who entered her room with a key.

    "I was making sure I wasn't just mixing up the numbers, to make sure it was the same," said Sanket Bhagat. "I spent probably a minute, like, reading one at a time, making sure it was the same one."

    When officers arrived, they found Gomes, her baby, Nathalia Portela Coelho, Nathan Portela Coelho.

    Only the two older children were the subject of the Amber Alert - the baby has a different father.

    "Prior to the Amber Alert, 10 minutes earlier, they were in the pool, swimming," said Bhagat. "Just a family enjoying life on the Cape."

    Police say Gomes would not answer questions from investigators and quickly hired an attorney. Her attorney said there would be no statements Thursday night.