ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque woman is behind bars and her 10-year-old son is safe after an Amber Alert was issued in Albuquerque and led authorities to a town near Amarillo, Texas. In a rare move, the alert came from a court order in a lengthy custody dispute.

Story continues below

New Mexicans’ cell phones sounded once again on Thursday with an Amber Alert for a missing child. This time for 10-year-old Nicolai Kuznetsov of Albuquerque. New Mexico State Police says there was ‘grave concern’ of Kuznetsov’s well-being after custody was taken away from his biological mother, Jacqueline Haymon.

However, it’s who ordered the alert that’s unusual — Judge Gerard Lavelle issued a court order for the child’s father to request an Amber Alert. “If it meets the criteria for an Amber Alert we’re not second-guessing that,” said Mark Soriano, with NMSP.

Jacqueline Haymon

The Second Judicial District Court says it’s rare that Amber Alerts are issued in this way but says because Haymon has kept Kuznetsov from his father for nearly two weeks, refusing to return him, coupled with their concerns over her mental health and a past domestic violence charge, an alert was the best choice.

“And once they have the child under their control, then their desires are satisfied and they are no longer a threat,” said Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Dr. Timothy Griffin.

According to court records, Haymon pulled her son from school early on November 5 and didn’t text the boy’s father until Nov. 8 saying because of a vaccine mandate at the school, their son would be staying with her and would be homeschooled. Since then, the two hadn’t been heard from until their car showed up on law enforcement plate readers near Amarillo, Texas.

In a recent investigation into the use of Amber Alerts in the state, KRQE News 13 spoke with Dr. Griffin who’s been looking into the emergency alert’s effectiveness. “The vast majority of the time familial abductors are not a threat. But in fairness, there are a few cases where they are, but it’s so statistically rare. It simply does not make sense to make that a public policy priority,” Dr. Griffin said.

According to court records, Haymon has a past domestic violence case where she’s accused of leaving Kuznetsov out in the cold and biting his shoulder hard enough to leave a bruise. On Thursday, Kuznetsov’s father was granted temporary sole legal and physical custody.

This is the 12th Amber Alert issued so far in the state this year, more than double the number in 2020.