Man accused of taking Williston kids sought

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The man who allegedly took two Williston children to Colorado is being sought by law enforcement.

According to a Levy County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) release, law enforcement agencies are seeking Raymond Otero, 48, of Williston, after he took two children from Williston last Friday and fled.

On Monday, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) issued a missing child alert for 11-month-old Ember Willoughby and 1-year-old Raiden Phoenix. Shortly before midnight, the LCSO was contacted with information that the two children were located when Otero dropped them off at the Rocky Ford Police Department in Rocky Ford, Colorado. Otero then left the police department.

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Raymond Otero
Courtesy of FDLE Raymond Otero

The incident started when LCSO was working with the Florida Department of Children and Family Services (DCF) to execute an order of protective custody for Phoenix and Willoughby. The children’s mother, Hailey Palmer, 21, of Williston, was arrested for an outstanding warrant issued by the state of Indiana. The two children were placed in temporary custody of Otero and Palmer was extradited to Indiana.

According to the LCSO release, “Otero refused to cooperate with DCF agents during the investigation and fled the State of Florida with the children.”

The children are in good health and will be picked up by DCF representatives, the release stated.

LCSO detectives are seeking a warrant for Otero for custody interference. Anyone with information related to the investigation is asked to contact LCSO Lt. Mike Narayan at 352-486-511 or call Crime Stoppers to leave an anonymous tip at 877-349-8477.

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