Dad Accused Of Abandoning Son To Face Extradition

LAKEVILLE, Minn. (WCCO/AP) — A father accused of abandoning his 11-year-old son because his home was in foreclosure has been arrested in a small coastal town in central California and now faces extradition back to Minnesota.

Steven Alexander Cross, 60, was arrested Monday afternoon in Cambria, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement. A sheriff’s patrol deputy spotted Cross’ Ford Windstar van and arrested him without resistance, the department said.

He had been missing for six weeks.

The boy awoke at their Lakeville home July 18 to discover Cross had gone, leaving two letters: one said their home, some 25 miles south of Minneapolis, was going to be sold at a sheriff’s sale and instructed the boy to take his PlayStation and go to a neighbor’s house; the other asked the neighbors to take care of his son.

The letters carried suicidal overtones, but Dakota County Attorney Jim Backstrom said investigators suspected Cross was still alive.

“The police had continued to receive some tips from a former girlfriend about contacts that Mr. Cross had been making,” said Backstrom, “so they did not believe he had killed himself and fortunately that did not occur.”

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Steve Murphy Reports

Backstrom is now working on extradition to bring Cross home to face a charge of gross misdemeanor child neglect.

Backstrom said if Cross waives extradition he could be returned within 10 days, but if he fights extradition it could take 90 days or so to bring him back to Minnesota.

The child is now living with an aunt.

The 11-year-old told police he didn’t notice his father acting any differently on the night before he vanished. The boy also told a social worker he knew little about his family and that his father had told him his mother was dead. In one of the letters, Cross told his son his mother was still alive.

Cross, a licensed architect, was awarded legal custody of the boy in 2001, according to a warrant complaint seeking his arrest. The mother, identified as Katik Porter in a child protection petition, received visitation privileges but apparently never used them. Those privileges were suspended in 2002.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • JOE


    • Rich

      He’s 60, should be grandpop.

      • V

        Yeah, no kidding. That’s what people do nowadays, though — have their kids in their 40’s and raise them into their 60’s. It’s silly.

        • nunya

          I had mine at 35 and feel much better about it. If I had him when I was a kid (IE younger than 30) I would have lacked the maturity to raise him correctly. To many kids having kids and todays kids stay kids until they are in their late 20s. Most people who have kids before 25 are ‘opps’ pregnancies. Rather be able to tell him I wanted and pursued him than a ‘happy suprise’

  • Dad Accused Of Abandoning Son Arrested « CBS Minnesota

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  • Iconoclast

    You’re suggesting the San Luis Obispo Police Department (California) should be concentrating more on Minneapolis “killers” than helping us find this guy? What?

    • fndougie

      Yes that is precisely what we want.

  • Heather

    The Mom is a pice of work too………
    This poor kid…….I hope he finds a loving family – or he doesn’t have a chance

  • @Joe

    chit happens there Joe…suspect he not the only one out there in similar situation.
    ya think ol’ momma maybe had a plan?
    or should we all cease to have sex in our 30’s – that what ya saying?
    chit happens

    • qzqzqzqz

      awwww the baby can’t even curse properly.

  • Christi

    #1 Dad

  • Mental Illness no doubt

    I don’t have a crystal ball and can see the futue Joe-do you? lmao
    He was employed – he is or has lost his mental capacity. He snapped it seems. He’s a miserable excuse for a Dad but mental issues are apparent.
    My best friend had both parents bail on them – she was 6. Oldest brother was 12. 30 plus years later they learned that both parents were dead. Suicide and depression took both.
    Poverty-age-no support-many things lead to a breakdown. Most of us are strong enough or lucky enough to get thru it….but not all.
    Tragic deal

    • Verheek

      Agreed. Mental illness is a tragedy. There is help but it’s not like a broken leg. I know someone trying to make it with a wife and two kids. He’s on a pile of stuff to affect his depression and a mess since his mother did drugs and didn’t take folic acid. Wanting to try isn’t enough. Sometimes others need to come along and help. That’s what community is for. We weren’t designed to live these bubble lives of self-reliance and individualism.

  • Brad Swager

    Well I feel bad for him. I don’t agree with what he did but with no support I am sure mentally he came unglued. It’s funny so many people on here are bashing him. What if it was you? No one not even your family will help, you have no money, no place to live, no food. How would you feel if you failed and can’t provide for your own kid? Some people are strong enough to act in another manner, apparently he was not capable. At least he didn’t kill himself and his kid.

    • Leslie

      The child is now staying with an Aunt so yes there is family. What he did was cowardly and his son is better off without him.

      • terry rohan

        I see you as a keyboard warrior, hiding behind the internet, judging another human being like you are perfect and in reality, you may be a 300 pound guy named barney selling pot to highschool kids and luring children just this one away from playgrounds.
        Judge not… I just judged you, and found you unfit to comment.

        • MattAlwaysRight

          Your comment is very stupid and many levels.

    • Regular Joe

      I would shovel poop and a have three other jobs in order to provide for my family. He quit!

    • Gary Swager

      Brad, people do not become “mentally unglued” and decide they don’t care what happens to their son, and then take off to California and make contact with a few ex-girlfriends. Cindy and I are disappointed in your comment.

    • Marsha

      You read my mind. We have millions to give away to the poor in other countries and look at what is going on right on our front porch. This man needs help, like you say at least he didn’t kill his son/himself, I don’t know what I would do if I were faced with being homeless, jobless, pennyless, and without family support. Desparation can make you do crazy things.

      • Dave's Not Here

        He needs help? What kind? Like 80 grand, is my guess. Why do people insist that when someone breaks the law, they must need our help?

        At what point of desperation do YOU start committing felonies, Marsha? I want to know so I can get as far away from you as possible.

  • Commonsense

    Thankfully they found him alive and he can get the help he needs. I doubt he will ever be able to repair the damage this has caused his son, but hopefully with some therapy and a stable loving home the son can grow up to be a productive member of society – only time will tell.

    • SamIam

      But they’re not looking to get him the help he needs, they’re looking to prosecute him and make his like even worse. And to think of all the deadbeats in houses they haven’t paid on in years and this guy, single dad, was getting put out on streets. No rhyme or reason.

      • Dave's Not Here

        He made the decision. He lives with the consequences. Period. No second chance should be given after an act like this. There is no excuse. Oh, boo hoo, he’s sad he can’t pay his bills. So leave his son for dead and take off to Cali, eh?

        Imprison this fool.

  • Frank Furter

    Well Son, the bad news is that I’m headed for California without you. The good news is that I saved a ton of money on my car insurance and your mom is alive!

    • Joker of Spades

      Come on Furter! Nowhere in that article did it say he has Geico. Your just making stuff up. What, do you work for Geico?!

      • len

        Nowhere did Furter mention Geico.

        • Sven

          He used their advertising tagline.

  • Mike

    Jersey Mike’s makes one heck of a good sandwich…..

  • Sands

    I hope the poor boy doesn’t grow up blaming himself.

  • Heh

    … And to think what these comments would be had this man been black. I’m sure he would have been every kind of deadbeat in the book, not to mention the reason north mpls sucks or responsible for the crime rate in St Cloud.

    • okey doke

      If he were black, he never would have even met his son in the first place.

      • leroy

        That is absolutely hilarious and so very true

        • len

          what’s so ‘hilarious’ about it?

          • marcoPolo

            that you are stupid enough that you can’t figure out that he slammed that idiot really well!

    • deeper

      No, I’m pretty sure he’s every kind of deadbeat regardless of whether he fits into your particular mold.

      • CafFiend

        How can you say he’s a deadbeat when he’s the one to have raised his son all these years? The mom never even bothered to come around and the dad told him she was dead– probably to make her look better to his son rather than saying what a loser she was for not being there

        • Regular Joe

          That’s his JOB! He is a father. Single parent or not. It is his job to care and provide for his family. Stop feeling sorry for the man. It is not the Govt’s job to provide for him.

          • sfad

            nor should they do so if it was a “poor single mom” and offer her free money to go to college, and WIC and etc. etc. etc. Kids mom must have been a real skank if the court didn’t just automatically award her custody

        • Dave's Not Here

          He abandoned his son. That instantly makes him a deadbeat. He gets no credit for doing anything else, because in the end when the chips were down, he left his son for dead in an attempt to save his own skin.

  • Good grief

    This is probably the saddest story I’ve heard in a long time. Not only for the boy, but for the beleagured, worn out Dad – who lost all hope of being able to keep it together. There are so many families strained beyond capacity in our midst. Let’s try to reach out & give some support and encouragement to them instead of slamming them when they’re down. I’m sorry for this family’s misfortune.

    • Dave's Not Here

      Some dads have a “Me and my son against the world” mentality, and some think of it as themselves against the world while burdoned by a child.

      Guess which one this d-bag was…

  • Little Jonny

    yeah………..poor worn out Dad…………….come on

    • Jonny boy

      Until ya been there Runty Jonny I would not comment none. :-)

      • Medium Jonny

        I hate it when Jonny and Jonny fight….

  • S Von Smith

    Poor kid, I could never even think about leaving my child.

    • Dabull

      Yep! Gosh, take him with you to California, have an adventure…live out of the van if you have to! Obviously the man is depressed and needed a break, but chose the wrong solution…now he’ll probably lose his boy too.

      • Dave's Not Here

        A break from being a dad? Sorry, that isn’t how that goes.

  • Ryan Mouk

    What a useless human being

    • Verheek

      If that’s all you have to offer, keep on movin’

      • saf

        who made you the compassion poilce – go off yourself shytbag

        • okkk


          • sgsfd

            so you are an idiot and can’t type – nice combination tough guy. Does your parole officer know you are using a computer?

            • okkk


  • AeroJack7

    Sounds like more to the story than meets the eye. No man abandons a child/family unless he is despicable or mentally ill. Sounds more like the latter. My prayers go out to both father and son.

    • Dave's Not Here

      No. It DOESN’T sound like the latter.

      It sounds like the former. A classic example of a dou.che.bag who should never have had a child or even a pet hamster because he’s too fragile to handle failure without peeing on his family for it too.

      He needs a bullet, not a helping hand.

  • babs1947

    Would it not have been cheaper for the taxpayer to offer the help he and so many others need. Now we get to pay to bring him back, put him on trial and pay for his lawyer then house him in jail for 5yrs or better. What is the end bill going to look like and who is better off because of it?

    Dakota County has enough dead beat dads in MN they could be tracking, and are not! Which is another wast of tax dollars. No wonder my property tax will go up!

    If the dead beat dads paid child support, our tax would be lower and social service could do a better job of taking care of those who need help.

    So where are all the conservitaves who want there tax lowered, why are they not screaming about this!

  • Gunny G

    THIS is the result of decades of liberalism telling people, “it is not your fault,” etc, and NOT holding people STRICTLY accountable for their actions.

    • Verheek

      If people were computers, we could just fix the bugs and move on with life but it’s not that simple. Education helps a lot and so does reaching out but it’s the consistent life experience that makes a person who they are.

    • @G,G. the DumbOne

      This kinda chit been going on at least since the 1890’s – ask my great grand parents about it.
      It’s got no bearing on politics, political agendas or any of the BS you want to cry about there junior. My family has been died in the wool Baptists until I came along. Liberal not a word they know. Mental illness – that they had. Over 120 years back when they pulled the same BS on my GGP’s.
      Where do you fricken idiots get the “blame the other party” BS mentality from??? You carrying any mental illnesses in your background…. of course you are. It is very obvious to all GG. ;-)

  • Mike Ryan

    This is a sad story and my heart goes out to the boy. I was a single gay father at the age of 20 and remember how incredibly tough it was to meet the rent and keep food in the house – but the decision to have a child was all mine and I was willing to sacrifice heaven and hell to raise my son. Often I borrowed money to pay the cheap rent, had no parent to assist (they refused, I was gay for Godsakes! How could I have a child?), but my son had a wonderful childhood and now all grown up with two kids of his own (yes, he turned out straight). During all those hard times I never once thought of giving him up or chucking the whole parent thing. I love being a Dad.

    • Verheek

      It’s too bad you couldn’t have gotten help from some organizations like Exodus Int’l, etc to help get your sexual associations reprogrammed. I don’t agree with gays raising kids because it’s not teaching them the natural order of things. Like kids with single parents. But we all have problems and that’s life.

    • Rabble

      Thank you for being a real dad.

    • Dave's Not Here

      How (maybe why?) did you become a father if you’re gay?

  • Joe average

    Yay Capitalism! Ain’t it grand?

    • deeper

      Yes it is… for anyone man enough to stand up to the responsibility even when things are tough. Lemme see, poor guy decided the answer was to solo to California? Doesn’t pass the smell test.

  • Thomas T

    Love this Obama economy…

    • aaah shucks

      ya missed the facts – it’s Bush and Cheney Turf there dummy. Truth is a tough thing to swallow now ain’t it. choke puke poop

      • sfa

        ahhh you missed the 2008 election, the Democrat support in Congress for all that spending and the paste 3 years of Democrat Majority when they excelerated spending instead of fixing it. The complete lack of any action on jobs the idiot was laser focusing on etc. etc. etc. Amazing how much you miss when you are a blind Liberal lefty kwere hack with your head up your arse ain’t it?

  • J Meoff

    Hey, this guy did more for his son than our president’s father! How pathetic Obama is. He didn’t even meet his own father until he was grown!

    • MayfaireOquinn

      What kind of logic is this? LOL I’m no Obama supporter, but first of all, Obama has nothing to do with this. 2nd, he did meet his dad when he was a kid, and 3rd if Obama’s dad was a dead beat (and he was) that would be his DAD’S fault, not his.

  • jerry goldstein

    And I bet 99.9% of the people here wanted this insane government to bomb Libya. Say what you will about Gaddafi but dads and mom did not have to worry about paying a mortgage and they did not have to worry about vampire stealing them blind with usury. If the people in this country would rise up and kill these vampires then families would not be torn apart.

    • Verheek

      hahaha. I bet you want to go back to the communist era too because everyone had a job. Gotta look at the whole picture; not pick and choose.

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