Two children returned to their family late Sunday after police said they were taken by their father earlier in the day in connection with an alleged domestic violence incident that prompted a lengthy police standoff.
"I am happy to announce that the two children have been recovered and returned to family," Fresno police Lt. Bill Dooley said in an email to reporters Sunday night. "The suspect is still outstanding."
Dooley said he couldn't elaborate on details late Sunday as the investigation continued.
Police have not released the suspect's identity but have said the man is wanted in connection with an alleged domestic violence assault against the children's mother.
Police attempting to end an hours-long standoff with the wanted suspect at a Fresno home deployed a robotic device inside the residence late Sunday afternoon, only to find neither the man nor two children who were believed to be with him.
At that point, police began to follow up on leads to find the man and ensure the safety of the children, Dooley said in an earlier statement.
The suspect is wanted in connection with a domestic violence case against the children's mother that took place early on Sunday and later prompted a barricade situation.
Officers arrived about 8 a.m. at a home on East Harvest Lane in the gated community of Harvest Park. The standoff continued into the afternoon. Police were dispatched to the home on a report of a domestic assault that had just taken place, Dooley said.
Officers made contact with the mother of the children and alleged victim, who had fled to a nearby home. "The victim said she last saw the suspect and their two children inside their home," Dooley said in an earlier statement. "Officers surrounded the residence and attempted to make contact with the suspect. There was no indication that the children were in immediate danger."
Fresno police activated the SWAT team because of the nature of the call and potential access to weapons, he said.
"A robot was sent into the residence and officers were able to determine neither the suspect nor the two children were inside," Dooley said earlier on Sunday afternoon.
Earlier in the day, police had declined to provide many details other than to say a man was barricaded inside and that police would remain on scene until he was taken into custody or investigators determined if he had managed to get away.