ALTOONA – A man charged with kidnapping in the pre-Christmas disappearance of his 2-year-old daughter surrendered and turned the girl over to police after a seven-hour standoff.
Police arrested 32-year-old Tex Ortiz on Monday and returned Jaleeyah Ortiz to relatives near Pittsburgh after a tip led officers to a home in Altoona where they were holed up.
SWAT officers surrounded the house and a hostage negotiator was called in to compel Tex Ortiz to peacefully end his two weeks on the run.
Police say Tex took off with Jaleeyah amid a custody dispute with the girl’s grandmother, Lori Clark.
Clark was awarded custody after Tex missed a Dec. 19 hearing. She says he sent a text message saying Jaleeyah would be staying with him.
Jaleeyah’s mother died in October.