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Santa Barbara County Woman Arrested in Siskiyou County After Alleged Child Abduction

A local woman has been arrested in Northern California after she allegedly abducted her 3-year-old son after failing to appear at a custody exchange with the child’s father earlier this summer.

Faith Merritt, 31, of Carpinteria, was arrested Wednesday in Siskiyou County by the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office, according to a statement released from the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office.

Merritt will be transported back to Santa Barbara County where she will be arraigned on charges of felony child abduction and violating a court order for failing to comply with the court-ordered custody arrangement.

The office announced last week that a warrant had been issued for Merritt and she was being sought for the abduction of her son, 3-year-old Maxwell DiNardo, resident of Santa Barbara County.  

Merritt allegedly shared joint custody of Maxwell with his father, who reported the boy missing in early August after Merritt failed to exchange custody with the father.  

“Maxwell is safe and will be turned over to the custody of his father,” the DA's Office said in a statement.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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