LAKEVILLE, Minn. - A father accused of abandoning his 11-year-old son because his Minnesota home was in foreclosure has been arrested in a coastal town in California.
Steven Alexander Cross, 60, was arrested Monday afternoon in Cambria, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement. A sheriff’s patrol deputy spotted Cross’s Ford Windstar van and arrested him without resistance, the department said.
Sheriff’s spokesman Rob Bryn told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that Cross appeared to be living in his van and that authorities tracked him down after a tip that he was working in a deli in Cambria, some 30 miles north of San Luis Obispo.
Cross is wanted on a warrant for alleged gross misdemeanor child neglect.
The boy awoke at their Lakeville home July 18 to discover Cross had gone, leaving two letters: One said their home, some 25 miles south of Minneapolis, was going to be sold at a sheriff’s sale and instructed the boy to take his PlayStation and go to a neighbor’s house; the other asked the neighbors to take care of his son.
The child is now living with an aunt, according to the Star Tribune.
The 11-year-old told police he didn’t notice his father acting any differently on the night before he vanished. The boy also told a social worker he knew little about his family and that his father had told him his mother was dead. In one of the letters, Cross told his son his mother was still alive.
Cross, a licensed architect, was awarded legal custody of the boy in 2001, according to a warrant complaint seeking his arrest.