7-year-old Dane and 5-year-old Aden Garland, are back home with their legal guardians after spending nearly five days away from their City of Shasta Lake home.
Shasta County Sheriff’s Major Crimes investigators say their mother, 36-year-old Mindy Delgado, admitted to taking the children and hiding them from their grandparents, the brother’s court approved legal guardians.
"To do something that severe, she didn't want them just for Christmas, and just wanted to keep them," said Austin King, older cousin of the Garland brothers.
The family said this was what they feared all along, that Delgado would selfishly take her sons away, even though the court ruled she was unfit to care for them.
"She wasn't supposed to have them because she wasn't taking good enough care of them," said King.
King also wanted to put to rest any questions as to why Delgado lost custody of her two sons.
"She was using drugs in the house, all while the kids are in the house, and that's not happening over here, so that's why we have them," explained King.
The family members who care for Dane and Aden on a daily basis said the boys were locked away, secluded in a room inside a Redding apartment, during the nearly five days after Delgado abducted them.
Delgado failed to return the boys to their legal guardian after a routine, court-approved visitation in the City of Shasta Lake on Saturday night.
Delgado admitted to Sheriff’s detectives that she took the boys and hid them from their court approved, legal guardians because she felt her sons were not safe with their grandparents.
Detectives interviewed both the legal guardians and the boys, and they found no reason to believe the children were unsafe under the supervision of the grandparents.
As for putting a price on being reunited with his loved ones, 7-year-old Dane summed it all up, like only a child could do.
“One-hundred-infinity dollars,” said Dane, about how much he missed his family.
Delgado is currently being held in the Shasta County jail, on charges of two felony counts of child stealing. She is currently being held without bail, pending court proceedings.