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Suspect in custody after alleged abduction attempt of four Tsayatoh children


The man who allegedly took his four children after a domestic dispute has been apprehended in Gallup.

Rumaldo Peshlakai

On Thursday, an Amber Alert was issued when Rumaldo Peshlakai, 41, from Rock Springs, New Mexico, threatened to harm his children. He fled in a maroon Yukon. When police located the vehicle, Peshlakai and the children were not in it.

Heavily armed Navajo police officers attached to the Strategic Reaction Team, assisted by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies, began searching in the Tsayatoh, New Mexico, area known as PNM Housing, which is about 8 miles away north of the Tsayatoh Chapter House.

Police said Peshlakai informed he left his children at his mother’s home in Fort Defiance. He was not present when the police arrived on Thursday night. The children, between the ages of 2 and 10, were found safe.

On Friday, the FBI arrested Peshlakai in Gallup for probable cause. FBI Spokesperson Frank Fisher said Peshlakai was arrested on a federal charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Special Agent in Charge of the Albuquerque FBI Division Raul Bujanda said the agency “does not hesitate” to expend whatever needed resources for missing children.

“We are pleased these four children have been found and are safe,” Bujanda said.

Peshlakai is expected to have an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque at a date yet to be scheduled.


About The Author

Donovan Quintero

"Dii, Diné bi Naaltsoos wolyéhíígíí, ninaaltsoos át'é. Nihi cheii dóó nihi másání ádaaní: Nihi Diné Bizaad bił ninhi't'eelyá áádóó t'áá háadida nihizaad nihił ch'aawóle'lágo. Nihi bee haz'áanii at'é, nihisin at'é, nihi hózhǫ́ǫ́jí at'é, nihi 'ach'ą́ą́h naagééh at'é. Dilkǫǫho saad bee yájíłti', k'ídahoneezláo saad bee yájíłti', ą́ą́ chánahgo saad bee yájíłti', diits'a'go saad bee yájíłti', nabik'íyájíłti' baa yájíłti', bich'į' yájíłti', hach'į' yándaałti', diné k'ehgo bik'izhdiitįįh. This is the belief I do my best to follow when I am writing Diné-related stories and photographing our events, games and news. Ahxéhee', shik'éí dóó shidine'é." - Donovan Quintero is an award-winning Diné journalist, who is based in Window Rock, Arizona. He can be contacted at


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