Kidnapped Mount Vernon boy found in Vietnam, reunited with mom in Seattle

A 5-year-old boy who had been placed in the care of a Mount Vernon woman and later kidnapped and taken to Vietnam, has been reunited with his mother in Seattle, the Mount Vernon Police Department announced Friday.

According to police, the boy had been placed in the care of Amanda Dinges by the Department of Youth and Family Services. On Nov. 29, investigators learned that Dinges had possibly left the country with the boy and her mother, Amber Dinges.

MVPD launched an investigation with assistance from the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Diplomatic Security Service.

Investigators later learned that Amanda and Amber Dinges had both pre-planned the idea to flee with the boy. Arrest warrants for second-degree kidnapping were issued for both.

After interviews with associates and the families of Amanda and Amber Dinges, investigators narrowed their location down to Thai Binh, Vietnam, a city 70 miles southeast of Hanoi, MVPD said.

On Wednesday, the boy was safely secured by DSS personnel and flown to Tokyo, Japan for the first leg of his trip home to Seattle. FBI agents and victim advocates traveled with the boy back to Seattle on Thursday, where he reunited with his mother Friday morning.

According to MVPD, Amanda and Amber Dinges are currently not in custody but are known to be in Vietnam. Investigators are continuing the extradition process until the suspects can appear in court on the kidnapping charges in Skagit County.

MVPD said an Amber Alert was not issued for the kidnapping because the date of the abduction was unknown, there had been no previous issues with Amanda Dinges as the boy’s caretaker, and there were no indications that he was in danger of imminent death or serious injury.