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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Police in Reno, Nev. have arrested the man believed to have been the one who abandoned a 3-year-old Reno boy at a Salt Lake City department store on Saturday.
Lyle Montgomery, the boy's stepfather, was arrested at his home Wednesday night by police serving a search warrant. The boy's mother, Jeannette Acord, was still missing.
Acord, 28, also known by the last names of Corpuz, Montgomery and Snyder, was married to Montgomery and they lived together in Reno, police there said in a statement earlier Wednesday.
"She was last seen in Reno on Jan. 13, 2002, and attempts to locate her at this time have been unsuccessful," the statement said.
KOLO-TV in Reno said that Montgomery had served a jail sentence in Reno a year ago for domestic battery.
Montgomery, 42, allegedly took the boy, Jonathan Jacob Corpuz, to a ShopKo store in Salt Lake City, gave him a toy to play with and walked out.
Salt Lake City Police Chief Rick Dinse said authorities were worried about Acord's safety. She has been missing from work for about two weeks.
Police have contacted Corpuz's biological father, who had no idea why the child was abandoned here. Authorities say the family has no connection to Utah.
Salt Lake police expected to file child abuse charges against Montgomery for "intentionally and knowingly placing this child at risk," according to a police statement.
The boy wasn't reported missing from Reno. He was identified by a woman there who recognized the child from a TV photo and called authorities. The boy had not been able to give police solid identifying information.
Store surveillance cameras showed a stocky man walking into the store with the boy, putting him in a shopping cart, handing him a toy, and later walking out. Other customers became concerned after about an hour of seeing the boy alone and told store employees who called police.
Welfare workers have temporarily placed the boy with a foster family. He appears to be in good health and shows no signs of abuse, Salt Lake City police said.
"He misses his mom, but he is getting attached to his foster mom," Utah Department of Human Services spokeswoman Carol Sisco said Wednesday. "She put a mattress on the floor in the bedroom so he can be next to her."
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)