Kidnapper on the run after kidnapped mother, 2 children found safe in South Carolina

Authorities said they have located the mother and two young children part of a Levi's Call, Georgia's Amber Alert system. The trio was kidnapped at knifepoint from their home along Forest Hill Road in Powder Springs around 1 a.m. Monday, authorities said.

“Made threats against the three victims, forced them into a 2016 KIA Sorento and left the location traveling to unknown destinations,” said Major Prosser. He said a nationwide Amber Alert was posted after police were informed of the kidnapping from a family member.

Yajaira Lira Ramirez, 23, and her two young children, Scarlet Lira and Kael Lira, both age 2, were found safe in Hardeeville, South Carolina. According to police, Ramirez and her children were able to get away from her alleged kidnapper and drive to a public place in order to contact law enforcement.

Major Prosser said for reasons unknown the family member waited about eight hours before calling 911. Major Prosser told FOX 5 News at first they believed Portilla was headed to California. Then just before four Monday afternoon, Ms. Ramirez, her two children, and the Sorento were located at a business in Hardeeville South Carolina when police there got a 911 call. 

Police in South Carolina are still searching for the children’s father accused of kidnapping his common-law wife and his children at knifepoint at their home in Powder Springs.

“The lady was there with her two kids asking for help. There was some injuries to the female and she was getting treated at the hospital,” said Hardeeville Police Chief Sam Woodward.

Chief Woodward would not discuss how Ms. Ramirez got control of the vehicle from Portilla. He said Portilla has a knife and is now on foot in South Carolina.

“We’re also thinking he might be extremely dangerous and we’re going to take all the necessary precautions. As far as we know he’s on foot yes,” said Chief Woodward.


(Georgia State Patrol)


A man who answered the door at the home where the kidnapping occurred said the family had no comment. Police in two states are pleased this kidnapping ended the way it did.

“It’s always great and gratifying when especially young children are recovered safe and sound it always makes us feel a little bit better,” said Major Prosser with the Powder Springs Police Department.

He told FOX 5 News Ms. Ramirez and her two children are expected to return back to Powder Springs sometime Tuesday.

Hardeeville Police Chief Woodward said the search will continue for Armando Portilla who is in a rural part of South Carolina.