Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Father Of Missing Montebello Family Taken Into Custody In Dramatic Freeway Standoff

Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

After a standoff this morning on a freeway in San Diego County, police took into custody a Montebello father of four whose family went missing last week. The family had been missing since last Friday and just last night police discovered the body of a woman that is likely his wife.

Just before 9 a.m. this morning El Cajon Police came across a car belonging to Daniel Diego Perez, 43, according to KTLA. The black 2014 Toyota Camry was stopped in Santee, about 25 minutes north of the Mexican border, on an onramp from the 57 to the southbound 67. A dramatic scene was captured by news helicopters: one by one, two of his boys jogged from the car toward police.

Later SWAT team members surrounded the car, and were able to take Perez into custody (though it looked like he might try to jump for a second there) and help his other two boys inside the car to safety. Montebello Police confirmed the kids are alright, according to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.

Last night at 5 p.m. the body of a woman was found in the trunk of a car belonging to the family. Authorities had not identified the remains, but they likely belongs to the missing mother of the family Erica Perez, 39. It was less than a mile from the family home.

Support for LAist comes from

Last night an Amber Alert was sent out at 1:38 a.m. The couple's four kids are Alex Hayden Perez, 6, Tristin Devin Perez, 8, Jaden Eric Perez, 9, and Jordan Dante Perez, 11.

The Perez family was last seen Friday, and family members said that the marriage was plagued by domestic violence. Last night family members pleaded for Perez to return with his children. Pamela Valdez said at a press conference, "Please, Daniel, please just drop the kids off. Don't hurt them please, they are innocent. … You're breaking our hearts."

Update 4:05 p.m Police have confirmed that the woman in the trunk of the car is in fact Erica Perez: