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Three years later, Niagara County children who disappeared with their mother found in New Mexico

niagara county missing case.jpg
Posted at 2:41 PM, Mar 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-04 01:03:04-05

LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WKBW) — Olivia N. Riford-Diarbakerly and Mason M. Riford were reported missing on February 16, 2019 by their father, Peter Diarbakerly.

They went missing with their mother, Katie Riford, who was in the middle of a custody case for the children. The Niagara County Sheriff's Office says the mother fled when "things were not going her way."

Here is a timeline of events according to the Niagara County Sheriff's department:

October 11, 2018: Diarbakerly filed a petition for custody of his kids
November 3, 2018: This is the last day Diarbakerly sees Olivia and Mason
February 7, 2019: This is the last day Olivia attended school in the state
February 8, 2019 and February 15, 2019: Riford failed to appear in family court
February 15, 2019: Diarbakerly was granted full custody of Olivia and Mason; Riford filed written response which in part contained "I have been forced in to hiding"
February 16, 2019: Diarbakerly filed the initial report with the Niagara County Sheriff's office to locate his children
March 2, 2022: Olivia, Mason and Riford were located in Albuquerque, New Mexico

The sheriff's office said after they were located, Riford was taken into custody for two active warrants and the children were taken into the care of the Department of Children and Family Services in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The warrants were for Custodial Interference 1st (E-Felony) from the Town of Wheatfield Court and for Violation of a Family Court Order (A-Misdemeanor) from Niagara County Family Court.

Custodial Interference 1st is defined as taking a child who is under the age of 16 years old from the lawful custody with the intent to keep the child away permanently or for a protracted period of time and they take that child to another state. Maximum Sentence of 4 years.
- Niagara County Sheriff's Office

The sheriff's office said Diarbakerly was contacted and is on his way to be reunited with his children.

Riford is currently in the process of being extradited back to Niagara County.