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Article updated: 2/20/2012 11:56 AM

Palatine man charged with kidnapping girlfriend's son

William Cruz

William Cruz

 
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By Daily Herald staff report

A Cook County judge set bond at $750,000 this morning for a 30-year-old Palatine man accused of abducting his girlfriend's son last week, leading to an Amber Alert that ended when authorities located him and the boy a day later in Chicago.

William Cruz, of the 400 block of West Palatine Road, faces one count of aggravated kidnapping alleging he took the boy Thursday night and concealed the child's whereabouts from his mother.

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The charge against him is a Class X felony punishable by a mandatory prison term of six to 30 years.

Cruz remained in custody at the Cook County jail following his court appearance Monday, unable to post the $75,000 needed to go free while his case is pending.

Illinois State Police took Cruz into custody Friday night after finding him and the boy in Chicago's West Garfield Park neighborhood.

Police said the boy had been missing since about 8:30 p.m. Thursday when his mother allowed Cruz to take him shopping at a grocery store near their home, with the understanding they would return shortly.

At about 9:20 p.m., police said, the 8-year-old's mother called Cruz's cellphone, and he told her he was taking the boy to a relative's home in Chicago. The mother asked that Cruz bring the boy home to her instead, but he refused and could not be reached after that call, police said.

Police said that at about 9:30 p.m. Friday, a citizen made aware of the suspected abduction through an Amber Alert issued earlier in the day spotted Cruz's vehicle at the intersection of Madison Street and Springfield Avenue in Chicago, and immediately alerted an Illinois State Police trooper who happened to be nearby. The trooper was able to make a traffic stop of the vehicle without incident, and found the missing boy unharmed in the vehicle with Cruz, police said.

Cruz later was transferred to the custody of Palatine police. The boy has since been reunited with his mother, police said.

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