ELKHART, Ind. (WANE) – A woman accused of abducting two of her children from an Allen County home is now facing two preliminary charges of murder after telling an Elkhart police officer her children were dead in the backseat of a car she was driving.
29-year-old Amber Pasztor is being held in the Elkhart Correctional Facility.
The Allen County Sheriff’s Department was called to a home at 7036 U.S. 33 in northwest Allen County just after 6 a.m. Monday after a report that two children were taken by their mother.
Pasztor does not have legal custody of her children: 6-year-old Rene Pasztor and 7-year-old Liliana Hernandez.
Pasztor’s father, Ricky Green, has legal custody. He said Pasztor has battled a drug addiction and he’s had custody for a little more than a year.
The abduction sparked a statewide Amber Alert and officials initially believed Pasztor might have been in the Auburn area. A search, however, did not locate Pasztor or the children.
Pasztor was believed to be traveling with 66-year-old Frank Macomber. NewsChannel 15 spoke with Michelle Troye, Macomber’s daughter. Troye said Macomber and Pasztor are neighbors and believes her father is in danger.
Late Monday afternoon the Amber Alert was canceled and authorities only indicated at that time that the children had been located.
Later Monday evening the Elkhart Police Department released more information and said Pasztor approached an officer leaving the Elkhart Police Department at 5:25 p.m. and said there were two deceased individuals in the back of the car she was driving.
That’s when Pasztor’s two children were found dead in the backseat.
Elkhart police then realized Pasztor, the children, and the vehicle were the subject of Monday’s Amber Alert.
Detectives from the Allen County Sheriff’s Department then went to Elkhart to gather more information.
Elkhart police have not said if Macomber was with Pasztor when she arrived at the police department on Marion Street.
However, NewsChannel 15 learned several law enforcement agencies were searching Macomber’s home in the 200 block of Country Forest Drive in the Countryside Village Mobile Home Park and an FBI task force is assisting with the investigation.
Early Tuesday morning, officials told NewsChannel 15 that Macomber was not found at his home.
A search was then conducted behind the home where the children were taken from on U.S. 33 near Johnson and Wallen Roads.
Several officers and members of the Arcola Fire Department searched a wooded area behind the home.
Around 1:30 a.m., officials suspended the search for Macomber. The Allen County Sheriff’s Department said a briefing will take place with involved agencies and the search will resume in the area Tuesday morning. Officers returned to the scene at around 8 a.m.
Allen County Sheriff’s Department Spokesman Adam Griffith would not confirm if Macomber is believed to be alive or dead.
Green said the children were happy with him and at the home on U.S 33. They were enrolled in school and enjoyed spending time at the home and playing.
Green told NewsChannel 15 Pasztor kicked in the front door of the home after he left for work around 6 a.m. His wife Emily was asleep in the back of the home and didn’t hear anything. Pasztor then left with the two children, but did not take her 3-year-old son.
Emily Green told NewsChannel 15 early Tuesday morning she’s confused about Pasztor’s actions. Pasztor previously had blonde hair but her mugshot from Elkhart County shows her with dark hair. The Green’s did not know when she dyed her hair. Neither of them had seen Pasztor recently.
A GoFundMe has been set to help pay for the funeral expenses for Liliana and Rene. More than $1,100 dollars has been donated as of 2:30 a.m. Tuesday.
The investigation is ongoing and it’s unclear when investigators will provide an update.