Missing Child Alert Issued For 3 Year Old Luke Finch from Cocoa, FL … Possible Parental Abduction by Paul Martikainen (Update: Boy Found Safe)
Florida authorities have issued a “Missing Child Alert” for 3 year old Luke Finch. Police are saying that they believe this to be a parental abduction. Luke Finch went missing on November 28, 2009. The child may be in the company of 35 year old Paul Martikainen. Martikainen is the boys father who was in the middle of a court appointed visit with his son when Paul Martikainen abducted Luke Finch.
Paul Martikainen (left), Luke Finch (rt)
Officials say Luke Finch, was last seen in the area of Taylor Park at Harrison & Delannoy Street in Cocoa Florida, wearing a blue sweatshirt, blue pants and black and red fire engine sneakers.
- Luke Finch, He stands about 2 feet 9 inches tall, weighs 33 pounds and has blond hair and blue eyes.
- The boy was last seen in the area of Taylor Park at Harrison and Delannoy streets in Cocoa, wearing a blue sweatshirt, blue pants and black and red fire engine sneakers.
- The child may be in the company of Paul Martikainen, 35, and the pair may be traveling in a green Ford Explorer with a dented rear bumper and tag number 142KEA, police said.
- Martikainen is described as a white male, standing 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighing 176 pounds, with blond hair and green eyes.
- Martikainen has a tattoo of a cross with Jesus and tribal tattoos on his back and a tribal tattoo on one of his thighs
Martikainen was under supervision because of a prior history of child abuse allegations against his son.
Anyone with information regarding the location of the boy is asked to contact the Cocoa Police Department at 321-639-7620.
Investigators said this afternoon they are considering expanding the search statewide with the help of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, after receiving several tips and reports of sightings of Luke outside Brevard County. A Florida missing-child alert has been issued for the boy, Cocoa police said.
The father-son visit was being monitored by a court-appointed supervisor because of previous allegations of child abuse against the boy, police said. Martikainen managed to elude the supervisor, and he and the boy have not been seen since 1 p.m., police said.
UPDATE II: Arrest Warrant Issued for Paul Martikainen
A “Missing Child Alert” has been issued for Luke Finch as well as an arrest warrant for the tot-dad, Paul Martikainen. It is believed that the two are on a sail boat sailing in the Gulf of Mexico. The Coast Guard has deployed fixed wing air craft and have asked boaters to be on the look out for any sightings of a battleship gray sailboat.
Late Saturday, a witness called authorities and said they had seen Martikainen’s Ford Explorer at the Salt Creek Marina, said Cocoa Police Department spokeswoman Barbara Matthews.
Police found the Explorer at the St. Petersburg marina and interviewed witnesses who reported seeing Martikainen and the boy get into a 32-foot gray Bristol sailboat.
“We found out (Martikainen) had a boat there and people saw Paul and Luke in a dinghy going out to a boat,” Matthews said.
UPDATE IV: Luke Finch Found Safe, Reunited with Mother
The three-day search for a 3-year-old Cocoa boy abducted by his father during a supervised visit at Riverfront Park ended today with his safe recovery from a sailboat in the Gulf of Mexico.
Three-year-old Luke Finch, whom authorities said was abducted by his father and taken to sea, was reunited with his mother Christa Finch in Fort Myers Beach, the U.S. Coast Guard announced this afternoon.
Finch was rescued this morning about 140 miles southwest of Fort Myers Beach on 32-foot sailboat operated by his father Paul Martikainen.
Petty Officer 1st Class Mariana O’Leary said the sailboat sank as it was being towed to the Coast Guard Station on Fort Myers Beach.
No one was hurt.