Boy found safe in New Mexico; reunion with father today
Appeal Staff Writer
Albuquerque, N.M. – A Reno boy will be reunited with his father in New Mexico today after authorities there arrested his non-custodial mother on a Lyon County kidnapping charge.
Karen O’Grady, 50, called Albuquerque 911 about 10 a.m. Tuesday from a Wal-Mart pay phone and told authorities she wanted to turn herself in, said Officer Trish Hoffman with the Albuquerque Police Department.
Erik Buran, who will turn 5 years old on Saturday, was with his mother when an officer arrived. He was taken into the custody of the state. O’Grady was booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center, Hoffman said.
Erik has been missing since April 21, when his father, Robert Buran, discovered O’Grady’s Fernley rental vacant. Erik, O’Grady, and her partner, Steven Streight, were gone. The boy had been visiting his mother for four days.
Since then, Buran has been relentless in his search for his “beautiful” son, posting photos of him on the Internet, sending out almost daily e-mails and contacting national organizations in the hopes of getting Erik’s picture on television.
Three hours after receiving the news of Erik’s recovery at noon Tuesday, Buran, a Reno taxi driver, was on the road to Albuquerque for the reunion.
He said a social worker in New Mexico said Erik thought he couldn’t see his father because he was in Chicago, something his mother allegedly told him.
“I told people we either have to find Erik or stop Christmas all together. I just couldn’t do it,” Buran said, calling the news a “Christmas miracle.”
Buran said he spent Monday night reading a book by John Walsh, a father turned television personality whose son was kidnapped from a Florida mall and murdered in the 1980s.
“I probably shouldn’t have been reading it, but I was feeling about as low as I could.”
The past six months have been torture, he said.
“It has been like my whole life went by and I never thought anything about this. It’s just been unbelievably horrible. But it has a happy ending. I will never, ever think of anything before Erik. He is number one,” Buran said, his voice choked with emotion. “Now, I’m on cloud nine. I can’t even talk!”
n Contact reporter F.T. Norton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1213.