Posted by BOC Staff | Amber Alert,Briant Rodriguez,Kidnapping,Missing Child | Wednesday 6 May 2009 7:54 am


San Bernadino, CA– On Sunday afternoon, just as the Rodriguez family was about to leave their home, 2 gunman burst into the home of Maria Rosalina Millan, tied up the family with red tape and began ransacking the home.

After about 20 minutes of the gunmen rummaging through the home taking money, Rosalina’s cell phone and some undisclosed items, the men left with Briant, ordering his mother and the other children not to call police. While inside the house, one of the attackers appeared to be directed to areas of the home via a hand-held 2way device. 

Briant is the youngest of Millan’s seven children, 2 of which were not present at the time of the abduction. Briant’s older brother Benjamin Barasa:

Briant’s older brother said the men tried to steal the family car.


“Our keys were inside our car, cause we were about to leave,” 14-year-old Benjamin Barasa said. “So they couldn’t find them, so they got mad. They took my little brother. He didn’t know what was happening, so he wasn’t crying.”

An 8 year old brother who freed himself while the men were on their way out with his baby brother attempted to go after Briant, but was unsuccessful. After 9 hours, an Amber Alert was issued for Briant Rodriguez.

The composite sketches of the alleged kidnapers are strikingly similar and some are speculating they may be brothers.


Police and Federal agents have not received a ransom demand, and have not been able to determine a motive for Briant’s abduction. The family, through an interpreter, maintains they do not know the men who took the child or why.


Almost immediately, many began comparing the incident to the abduction of Cole Puffinburger. Cole’s grandfather, Clemens Tinnemeyer and Terri Leavy, his companion, were arrested in his grandson’s kidnapping and the incident is said to be tied directly to Tinnemeyer’s activities to the Mexican drug trade.

Puffinburger was released unharmed very close to his home. 

Federal Investigators continue to pursue all leads coming in in to find Briant Rodriguez


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  2. Sister says:

    It appears they were “looking” for something very specific. I doubt it was the keys to the car. My prayers go out for this family.
    I agree.

  3. radiogirl says:

    why nine hours for amber alert activation?

    Exactly. The admins got the request from San Bernadino Cty after 7.5 hours, so I am clueless. Nobody spotted a vehicle? He’s talking on a 2 way? My guess is they could not ID a “car”. Here’s a news flash people that keep saying the criteria for an amber alert is fine how it is.. KIDS CAN BE ABDUCTED AND PEOPLE MAY OR MAY NOT SEE A CAR.
    He was abducted at gunpoint. I dont give a rats bippy what the reason was. The state borders Mexico for the love of Pete.

  4. JC says:

    My question is that this 2 year old wasn’t crying because he didn’t know what was going on? His family was tied up and probably crying, sounds like the little boy knew who was taking him. I feel badly for this family, but I volunteer with toddlers and they do not like being removed from their moms and dads.

  5. Brenda in Virginia says:

    Mr. Klaas was on NG last night and was blasting the Amber alert system saying that “those who designed how it was to be run and the standards that had to be met were NOT law enforcement and it ties the hands of law enforcement the way it is now…needs to be updated/changed.” I’m loosely paraphrasing it, but he was right. Needs to be something else for situations like this because news I heard was the 2 men claimed they were taking this beautiful child to Mexico to kill him. How sad.

    I agree with the poster who said the men weren’t looking for car keys…something else they couldn’t/didn’t find angered them enough to take that child. I am proud of the 8 yr old with the guts/bravery to attempt going after his little brother. Although he didn’t manage to catch up, he IS a hero for trying. How many 8 yr olds would do that?

    Sadly, I agree also. Anyone following what is going on with the Mexican cartel have reason to be concerned. I am praying for a similar outcome to Cole’s case. I also wonder if these 2 weren’t on the run from something else.

  6. Prevost1580 says:

    Who would want a three year old and not a Plasma t.v? I’m just sayin’ it makes no sense to ME! Very odd-

  7. JohnDoe says:

    i concur…when my 5 year old was 3, she would have definitely found it odd that there was no hug and kiss goodbye from mom…and my son, who is currently 2, would have been a train wreck if taken by strangers from our living room…

  8. Brenda in Virginia says:

    Prevost1580…sadly, it shows me they wanted to leave with something that the family couldn’t replace.

  9. johnsmith says:

    lets get on the ball blink…this storys 3 days old for gods sake, update update
    Blink has strep. Be nice. This is not
    Tee hee

  10. Felicity says:

    I wonder if the older boys were involved with drugs and owed money to these lunatics? This is just horrifying. I’m sure Mark Klass is going to have ALOT more to say about this! I can only imagine the terror this beautiful child is going through. Please God, keep him safe.

  11. Tracygirl says:

    When my autistic son was 3 he could have been taken without a word or fight. I don’t know anything about this boy, but it could be a reason.
    They do need to change the amber alerts. This was a robbery for gods sakes and they took a little 3 year old boy, threatened to kill him in Mexico. What is with needing to have a car? So if a kidnapper takes a kid on a bike or a little wagon, still not amber alert? Common sense needs to be used.
    Feel better Blink, sorry you are still under the weather.

  12. NE Mom says:

    Not all kids are alike. The little boy may have been silent with terror.

    When she was younger, our daughter’s stress/fear response was alert, silent compliance. We worked with her a lot through role-playing games and we have her in martial arts classes. She’s learning to be loud and assertive now, thank goodness.

    Good Job, its important.

  13. Anna from Phoenix says:

    It was obvious that the invasion was directed by someone that was close to the family and giving instructions from a short distance away (walkie-talkie). Sounds like someone in the extended family was involved in drug trafficing. They could not find what they wanted, so they took the child to extort it from them. Kidnapping of US citizens has become a Mexican national sport. I live within a few hundred miles of the Mexican border and I no longer go down there for a little shopping and lunch. I hope that they can get the child back.

    Get better Blink!

  14. sweetpea says:

    Hey Coolio-
    No vehicle discription yet they put out an Amber Alert? Really using nothing more than the picture of the boy.

  15. Brenda in Virginia says:

    Sweetpea, my feeling is they need to have the alerts based on the level of information they have. Such as a) vehicle description is known and so is abductor as in a non-custodial parental abduction. b) vehicle known and abductor unknown…or abductor can be identified visually/have description, but vehicle not known. and 3) only fact we know is child was abducted or missing…such as the Haleigh Cummings case…and a picture of the child is released.

    naturally, we’d LOVE to have vehicle and abductor information on 100% of these…and better yet…have 0% of this going on. But this is the real world and not such a nice one.

    I do not like the idea of microchipping children like animals because guess what? An abductor who does not wish to be caught is going to try to find where it was placed and take it out. need I say more?

  16. Cheryl says:

    Maybe this family isnt involved in drugs but maybe someone in the extended family owes this cartel something. Someone commented on why they didnt take TV -Children ware worth thousands more than a TV when sold or bartered. I pray this boy is found safe & unharmed

  17. Cheryl says:

    Its hard to get a vehicle description when you are tied up & prior to that they caught them too off guard for them to even think of looking at their car. who would think that they would tie everyone up & take the 3 yr old?

  18. Brenda in Virginia says:

    Off subject but not really, I work with a woman who’s oldest son was killed about 5 yrs ago because the apt he lived in was across the hall from another with known drug ties (this happened in Roanoke a few yrs back). I do not know this women personally but know her face. Her son was shot and killed while he laid on the couch asleep once the men broke in and his apt ransacked..but not much if anything was taken because it was drugs they were looking for..which this kid wasn’t involved in.

    Ironically, I live 25 mins from Va Tech and the SAME woman’s other son was in class that day, but not in Norris Hall. They said she had to be taken home from work by a friend because when word of the shootings came out she collapsed. Poor lady. Her son was fine this time…but my boss left too cuz his wife works there and daughter attends and were shaken up. My son was accepted, but opted for another cheaper school close by.

    One never knows…COULD it have been they targeted the wrong family out there in Fontana?

  19. hoping says:

    There is now video of the suspects purchasing tape at the local home depot and of their vehicle in the Home Depot parking lot, as well as passing by a Liquor Store close to the victims home a few minutes before the 911 call was received. I pray that someone will recognize these guys, probably not from their faces due to the grainy video, but hopefully from their vehicle and their clothes.

  20. Felicity says:

    I think the latest information shows that they have a photo of the car, and the two men.

  21. Cheryl says:

    I agree with Brenda- they may have hit up the wrong house. I mean criminals have stolen the wrong car or beat the wrong man up before- I dont think its too far fetched. I have read reports where outlaws have dialed 911 before – to report their drugs stolen!-or by accident & the operator heard the entire crime on tape..

  22. Kleat says:

    What if this woman has a point? What if motive IS the issue (she says NG didn’t find it important) and if these kidnappings are cartel related and won’t stop until people realize the motive and reasons the victims family will never talk against the kidnappers and live with the loss of the child if they have to.

    Interesting discussion this time from

  23. Cheryl says:

    I still dont understand why the vehicle description is just now being released- They could have went to Tijuana in less that 3 hours from there. They could have went to the border and went right on through- also right at the border is car painting cheap- they may have already altered or switched vehicles. That delay is sloppy & so is the delay in the amber alert. Even if they didnt have a sketch of the guys – let the world know who is missing and what the vehicle looked like ASAP

  24. hoping says:

    Cheryl- The vehicle description was only captured when law enforcement were able to trace the duct tape to a local home depot store and then they probably had to look through register receipts and lots of video to even find the person who could have purchased the tape and then track the timing out to the parking lot to find the possible car that was involved. I think the only way they knew for sure what car it was because they were also checking the surveillance video from areas around the house and I assume since the same vehicle drove by a liquor store, they were able to determine the suspect vehicle. I am sure it took a lot longer than a few hours to do it.
    I still find it very odd that no one from the neighborhood saw anything.

  25. A simular abduction happened here in Las Vegas. A little boy named Cole Puffinburger was kidnapped during a home invaision. His Grandfather had ties to the mexican Cartels.Thank God he was found safe. Are the police and FBI investigating this possability. I pray that they find him safe too. Kathy Las Vegas

    Kathy it is in my article :)

  26. Brenda in Virginia says:

    Dear Hoping, as much as we and LE with it were possible, gathering all pertinent information on any crime is never instantaneous. I also have no doubt they have been reviewing surveilence video of the vehicles that crossed the boarder up until the time (at least) they were able to identify the vehicle make and model. By now they probably know whether or not it crossed…and I have no guess as to which that is since the authorities on both sides of the boarder are looking for this truck. No doubt there are plenty of places they could have crossed outside of where cameras are rolling/documenting the legal enterance and exit between our countries.

  27. Brenda in Virginia says:

    oopsy…WISH it were possible :>)

  28. hoping says:

    I hope comment 24 didn’t come off as me putting LE down. I was just trying to explain why they couldn’t put a vehicle on the amber alert immediately. I am still impressed by the ability to trace duct tape.

  29. Cheryl says:

    What I still dont understand is .. why 9 hours before an Amber Alert on a missing child ?- auto description or not. By the time that Amber Alert was issued, that was plenty of time to be in Mexico, eat dinner, cut his hair, & even paint their automobile or take a flight to London! I know LE have their reasons for things -but how long does it take to get a description of a kid out and /or a picture of him ?

  30. MackiezMom says:

    If they couldn’t issue an Amber Alert for Sandra Cantu because they supposedly didn’t have a vehicle description, the same criterion re the car would apply here, right?

  31. Red Ranger says:

    They traced the tape and tracked the kidnappers to a home depot where it was purchased. They have one photo of the men and one of their green Bronco. This article releases the pictures to the public. The photo is good enough to where someone who knows them would recognize them. There ar emany cameras in Home Depot. I reckon there’s another picture or two of them from the parking lot, front of store, entry, tape aisle, and 180 degree views on their way out.

  32. coolio says:

    sweetpea, please go back and read my post and organization’s criteria for Amber alert.

    Alert is issued when there is evidence of non-custodial abduction (definitely have here, didn’t have for Sandra) then also when they have description of abductor(s) and/OR vehicle so public knows what or who to look for.

    This was definitely an appropriate case for Amber even w/o vehicle description. It is tragic it wasn’t issued for 9 hours and like others, I can’t help but wonder why. They don’t need vehicle description to issue. Only logical explanation is they didn’t believe it really was an abduction? Right, mom convinced all the young kids to go along with story of “we were robbed.” and it took them 9 hours before they figured this out…

  33. sweetpea says:

    Coolio and Brenda in Virginia,

    Maybe I am just to upset by what happened to Sandra Cantu, but they are posting pictures of this child and only this child on freeway signs all the way down to Mexico.

    This is simply my opinion, but if it were my child was abducted I would want any and all resources utilized. I would be crazy, if they told me that my child did not quailify due to a technicality.

    You can try and justify this till the cows come home, I don’t think I will ever understand on this issue.

  34. Brenda in Virginia says:

    Sweatpea…what are we justifying? I feel the Amber Alert system is flawed as it was not designed by law enforcement. When I replied to hoping’s comment…was only pointing out as much as we’d like, investigating anything even as serious as an abducted child isn’t instantaneous. Please clear up for me what I am justifying if you would. Hoping did come back and state she was not downing LE in any way…probably just frustrated as all of us we couldn’t simple find the boy asap and put the kidnappers with some big men in prison who haven’t seen a woman in 20 yrs ;>)

  35. coolio says:

    sweetpea, right IF your child was abducted is criteria #1. Briant was def abducted. I don’t live in CA, but would suspect the Amber alert mentioned he was in the company of two Hispanic males and probably some identifying information about them – height/facial hair, etc. THIS gave the viewing public something to look for.

    Sandra was “missing” Many missing children are just being kids and not coming home in time, mad and pretend to “run away” for a few hours, at a friend’s house, decided to catch another movie, etc. If Amber is issued each and every time one of these kids are reported missing (remember Amber is for anyone under 18) and then public learns they did any of the above, they will start to ignore the Amber alerts b/c it will be a boy who cried wolf situation. If public is alerted with a sense of urgency to look for a person 20 times in a month and each time they find out that kid was just one of the above scenarios (i.e. not really abducted) do you think you really think they will pay attn to when case #21 is put out there. No, they won’t.

    That’s why it is to be utilized only when there is reason to believe abduction has occurred.

    Sandra’s case still received plenty of immediate attention as a missing person and her picture was pasted all over the community and news right away.

    In general Coolio I agree with you. In Sandra’s case, I do not. I like Sheneman, and accepted his remarks that he has never been involved with a case like this, but he went so far as to say that they expected Sandra to come home safe and sound, and that is dangerous. Statistically, children that are abducted with the intentional motive of a sexual assault, are killed within a maximum of 3 hours of their disappearance. You might argue that Sandra was already deceased, I get that. However, what if she was not, and furthermore, what if next time, based on this argument the next child is. Understanding of the homicidal pedophillic deviant here, the organized variety if you will.
    Picture that freak with his stop watch and tell me if you feel the same way. They pay attention to this stuff and hone their craft as a result, it is time to take that away from them, imo. Let them guess what the response time will be, let them eff up and get caught and hopefully we save a child in the process. I know this subject matter too well to dream it would actually deter one. Offenders Offend, it’s what they do. Personally, I think part of the parameters should be based on the concentration of SO’s in the area to begin with. Do you realize how much manpower it takes to run them down, interview them, get warrants, etc. Before anyone says.. but lots of these crimes are committed by unregistered SO’s. Yes, i know that, but some are. Its the only way I can see to address the duality of the problem.

  36. coolio says:

    blink, trust me I very much agree Amber is important for the reasons you stated. I know others have stated she was already dead it doesnt matter. I have not been one of those people.

    And I also agree Sheneman could/should have handled her case differently at the beginning – especially the comments about we will find her safe and sound. He may not have handled such a case before but anyone in LE should be aware of this possibility.

    I guess I’m not particularly saying it should not have been issued in Sandra’s case. Rather I was defending importance of Amber being used in the appropriate situation. So more from a general policy standpoint that it can’t be issued every time a child is reported “missing.”

    You would probably know better than I, but what are statistics of all children who were initially reported missing under the age of 18 that are eventually found and reason they were missing was type of scenarios I listed and/or it was determined they ran away on their own volition. Not that this later group shouldn’t be protected, but they are also different than an abduction case. There just have to be thousands of these and I would venture 99% of them are not truly missing such that no Amber should have been issued.

    Yes, in Sandra’s case she was young – had just turned 8. If she had no history of being gone for extended hours then correct maybe Amber should have been issued as it was probably more likely than not that she was taken by someone.

    My point was more LE just can’t do it every time a child is reported missing.

    Yep, then in theory we agree. Honestly I dont know the stats of false reports, I have solely focused on the real ones I just realized. It is a responsible point on your part to raise that issue. Perhaps the balance then needs to be a combination of reform to issue an alert more quickly under certain conditions, and possibly prosecute false reports.

  37. Sunshine says:

    SO’s shouldn’t have the “luxury” of a search warrant….and if a 3 yr old child is missing, I think its safe to assume he’s not at a friends house or movie…the AMBER ALERT should be re-written by parents like Mark Klass. Oh Boy…if John Wayne were alive and President..
    God…Bless these little children and make their families strong… Bring to light all their abductors sins and guilt….And PLEASE send an ANGEL to re-write all this warped bureaucracy. AMEN

  38. coolio says:

    Blink, I would never advocate prosecuting the type of missing cases I’m talking about. They aren’t false. Rather missing with explanation.

    Minor is being rebellious and not checking in, those kinds of cases. So the minor is really missing, but parent may not comprehend or understand the reason and child eventually re-surfaces or parents or caretaker become aware child has ran away.

  39. Brenda in Virginia says:

    Sunshine…no…not Mr. Klass…but law enforcement must be the ones to redesign the Amber Alert System. That said, Mr. Klass or other’s like hime would probably be welcome to be part of that committee, but in the end it must be those with working knowledge of how LE handles the situation internally…and knowledge of how a pedophile and/or parent who abducts normally operates.

    Personally, I’d like to see Amber Alerts broken down as we do the weather alert system in a way (such as a child like Sandra or the boy in CA opposed to a teenager who is a danger to themself and has run away or gone to meet up with someone they met online, etc). As I posted previously….would be best to be able to put out an alert when only the description of the child itself is available as well.

    What Blink said is 100000% true, offenders most of the time do not change and DO NOT WISH TO. Only a few are truly aware they are monsters and hate what they do, yet cannot stop! So, either way they are all dangerous to the most precious thing there is. Our Children!

    One point I must make is these adults offenders were all abused children either sexually or mentally and are basically doing what was done to them. Doesn’t make it any better though. All the more reason we must be harsh when sexual offenders act and hold them in jail a hell of a lot longer than they get!

    Here’s a story from my local area. A “man” was abusing 2 young girls and got them to “be quiet” by burning the bottom of their feet with cigaretts. The grandfather saw the burn on one of the girl’s feet and after a while she (who was 6) admit her mom’s boyfriend did this. Guess how long this now registered sexual offender stayed in jail for this crime? LESS THAN 2 YRS. I see him all the time at the store and know what/who he is. I cannot post a link to him because it’s “harrassement”. I asked one of my former co-workers at the PD and they said I could get sued for putting up posters of his face from SOR. All I can do is alert other parents to constistently review the SOR site for their local area. Nice how the laws protect the criminal and not the child, isn’t it?

  40. Brenda in Virginia says:

    By the way, reason this creature only got 2 yrs is because the grandparents (who by the way got custody away from the daughter who they believe probably knew this…I mean…the girls had BURNS on their feet) refused to allow the girls to testify as they were already damaged enough from the experience…so it went Nolle Prosequi (or whoever you spell it). The public defender who is paid by the public’s tax dollars argued that there is no proof the sexual abuse was not done by someone else. She (unbelievable…yes, a WOMAN) got the light sentence for this animal. She’s the same lawyer who tried to get the guy who made death threats against us off scott free. Her arguement is that “we were lying and he never made the threats.” Yet, we had 2 other witnesses who she also accused of lying. See what the good folks who wish to live a proper life have against us? The other side has no conscious it is obvious to see.

  41. hoping says:

    A reliable source (twice removed) said that the boy’s father was the one who owed money and the father is “nowhere to be found” right now. I don’t believe that they think the father has been a victim of foul-play but who knows…I haven’t been following the case real closely, but I haven’t noticed anything said by the father at all. Hopefully he is trying to “sacrifice” himself for his child’s safe return.

    There is a language barrier issue in this, so I am not sure if that has anything to do with not hearing from him, but sadly, I definately think this has to do with issues relating to the Father. They only took his kid for starters.

  42. Deborah_Los Angeles says:

    Came across this article. Jesus Gastelum looks like one of the suspects maybe?

  43. coolio says:

    Per this article, he may have been found alive:,2933,520394,00.html

    Let’s hope so. Seems pretty encouraging if Mom and investigators flew there….

  44. Iscar says:

    This is exactly what I am looking for

  45. Sandip Saini says:

    I have just enjoyed reading. I do like your writing style, conversational, easy to read. Thanks for putting!

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