Mother denies abducting daughter
Angela Aiton took off with the 4-year-old during a supervised visit at a restaurant, police allege. She faces up to 8 years in prison.
Angela Aiton, 34, is scheduled for a preliminary hearing June 11 after pleading not guilty to a felony count of child stealing. With a 2005 conviction for residential burglary on her record, a conviction in this case could land Aiton in prison for up to eight years, prosecutors said.
She is being held in Orange County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bail, according to Sheriff's Department records.
Aiton was making a court-approved, supervised visit with her 4-year-old daughter Friday night at The Cheesecake Factory in Fashion Island when she vanished with the little girl, police said.
Aiton had asked the girl's foster father if she could walk her daughter to the restroom and then never returned, prosecutors claim. Instead, she fled with her daughter in her black Jeep Grand Cherokee.
After not returning for 10 minutes, the girl's foster father called police and an Amber Alert was issued statewide.
A witness spotted Aiton's car Saturday afternoon on the southbound 405 Freeway merging onto the 90 Freeway, prosecutors said. Los Angeles police stopped Aiton's car, arrested her and took her daughter into custody.
The girl has been in foster care since Aiton was arrested in March by Costa Mesa police and given a psychiatric evaluation.