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Mom of missing Calif. family dead, father arrested

California police have arrested Daniel Perez, who is suspected in the death of his wife, Erica Perez, and fleeing with his four sons.

By Gabrielle Levy
Mom of missing Calif. family dead, father arrested
From right, Daniel Perez, his wife, Erica Perez, and his four children. Daniel Perez, 43, is a person of interest in his wife's death and the abduction of his four sons. Photo courtesy Montebello Police.

MONTEBELLO, Calif., Dec. 11 (UPI) -- Updated: 11:20 a.m. ET

Daniel Perez was taken into custody and all four of his sons are safe with police late Thursday morning after a dramatic standoff on a highway overpass.

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Perez, 43, who is suspected in the death of his wife and the abduction of their sons, was spotted by El Cajon police, with the help of LoJack, around 9 a.m. in San Diego County.

California Highway Patrol tried to get Perez to pull over, but he tried to flee. He was eventually blocked by patrol cars on an interchange from the eastbound State Route 52 to State Route 67 in Santee.

During the ensuing standoff, Perez released two of his sons to police, but kept the others hostage until about 9:50 a.m., when he and the other two boys left the car.

Perez apparently attempted to flee but "officers were able to tackle him and take him into custody," Montebello police said.

Police issued an Amber Alert after locating a vehicle belonging to Daniel and Erica Perez of Montebello on Wednesday evening, with the body of Erica Perez, 39, found inside.

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The family was first reported missing from their home on Tuesday, and Montebello police Capt. Luis Lopez said Perez did not show up at work this week, and the couple's sons, Jordan, 11, Jaiden, 9, Tristan, 8, and Alex, 6, have not been in school. The couple reportedly has a history of domestic violence complaints.

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