YUBA CITY (CBS13) – Authorities on Friday revealed the Oroville man at the center of a manhunt and AMBER Alert Thursday had tried stealing two other vehicles before being caught by officers in Yuba City.
The entire ordeal was likely a terrifying experience for the victims of his crimes – especially the youngest three.
Matthew Kline of Oroville was arrested Thursday afternoon after he allegedly kidnapped three children. Two of the children, 3-year-old Ella Kline and 1-year-old Aiden, he fathered with his ex-girlfriend. The third, 4-year-old Abygail Jones, is one of his ex-girlfriend’s children.
The incident started after authorities were told some of Kline’s guns were missing; and children’s relatives said Kline was acting like he was on street drugs and may have taken the children to an unknown location.
Kline had taken the kids from his ex-girlfriend’s residence at 7 a.m. At 9:30, he told her he had the children.
Investigators learned later that Kline had reportedly tried to steal a vehicle in the lower Paradise area. He put the kids in the vehicle and was getting ready to drive off, when the owner confronted Kline. Kline took the children and left in his blue minivan.
At around 12:30 p.m. Kline reportedly stole items from a vehicle on Grand Avenue in Oroville. Thirty minutes later, Kline again allegedly tried stealing another vehicle, but was stopped by the vehicle’s owner.
The AMBER Alert was issued at 2:30 p.m. and only four minutes later, Kline was spotted and was caught a short time later in Yuba City. Kline and the children were taken back to the Yuba City Police Department where the Butte County Sheriff’s Department detectives took custody of Kline and the children.
The children were taken to the hospital for a wellness check and were deemed to be fine.
Kline was booked into the Butte County Jail on charges of child abduction, child endangerment, burglary, attempted vehicle theft and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bail is set at $233,000.