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 All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)

Comments (112)
  1. JOE says:


    1. Rich says:

      He’s 60, should be grandpop.

      1. V says:

        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.

        1. nunya says:

          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’

  2. Iconoclast says:

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

    1. fndougie says:

      Yes that is precisely what we want.

  3. Heather says:

    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

  4. @Joe says:

    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

    1. qzqzqzqz says:

      awwww the baby can’t even curse properly.

  5. Mental Illness no doubt says:

    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

    1. Verheek says:

      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.

  6. Brad Swager says:

    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.

    1. Leslie says:

      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.

      1. terry rohan says:

        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.

        1. MattAlwaysRight says:

          Your comment is very stupid and many levels.

    2. Regular Joe says:

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

    3. Gary Swager says:

      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.

    4. Marsha says:

      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.

      1. Dave's Not Here says:

        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.

  7. Commonsense says:

    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.

    1. SamIam says:

      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.

      1. Dave's Not Here says:

        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.

  8. Frank Furter says:

    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!

    1. Joker of Spades says:

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

      1. len says:

        Nowhere did Furter mention Geico.

        1. Sven says:

          He used their advertising tagline.

  9. Mike says:

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

  10. Sands says:

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

  11. Heh says:

    … 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.

    1. okey doke says:

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

      1. leroy says:

        That is absolutely hilarious and so very true

        1. len says:

          what’s so ‘hilarious’ about it?

          1. marcoPolo says:

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

    2. deeper says:

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

      1. CafFiend says:

        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

        1. Regular Joe says:

          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.

          1. sfad says:

            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

        2. Dave's Not Here says:

          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.

  12. Good grief says:

    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.

    1. Dave's Not Here says:

      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…

  13. Little Jonny says:

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

    1. Jonny boy says:

      Until ya been there Runty Jonny I would not comment none. 🙂

      1. Medium Jonny says:

        I hate it when Jonny and Jonny fight….

  14. S Von Smith says:

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

    1. Dabull says:

      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.

      1. Dave's Not Here says:

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

  15. Ryan Mouk says:

    What a useless human being

    1. Verheek says:

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

      1. saf says:

        who made you the compassion poilce – go off yourself shytbag

          1. sgsfd says:

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

            1. okkk says:


  16. AeroJack7 says:

    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.

    1. Dave's Not Here says:

      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.

  17. babs1947 says:

    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!

  18. Gunny G says:

    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.

    1. @G,G. the DumbOne says:

      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. 😉

    2. Verheek says:

      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.

  19. Mike Ryan says:

    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.

    1. Rabble says:

      Thank you for being a real dad.

    2. Verheek says:

      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.

    3. Dave's Not Here says:

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

  20. Joe average says:

    Yay Capitalism! Ain’t it grand?

    1. deeper says:

      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.

  21. Thomas T says:

    Love this Obama economy…

    1. aaah shucks says:

      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

      1. sfa says:

        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?

  22. J Meoff says:

    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!

    1. MayfaireOquinn says:

      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.

  23. jerry goldstein says:

    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.

    1. Verheek says:

      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.

  24. Rabble says:

    My mom had her mother dump me on my dad’s door step, he wasn’t home at the time, that didn’t matter.

    This was after I refused a bribe to lie about my dad during their divorce.

    Best thing mom ever did for me. My dad was great and is still missed every day of my life.

  25. Robert says:

    It would really be nice if we had more of a sense of community, where value was placed on willingness to give vs. self-servitude. This country has certainly been in a state of decline over the years.

    No one knows their neighbors, anymore. The roads have become war zones, where a tour of duty in Iraq is safer than your morning commute. Employers view the employed as a liability vs. an asset and valuable team member. Teenagers wearing pants around their ankles–taking criminals as role models–because they can’t wear belts in prison.

    Not even adversities can bring together a working community, united to a common goal. Hurricane Katrina proved that, with the gangs of thugs roaming the aftermath of the storm. Even during World War I, there was a Christmas Truce in 1915, where the weapons were put down and gifts exchanged. Now we’ve got “soccer moms” stampeding and robbing each other in the Walmart parking lot for the latest and greatest toy.

    I don’t know the answer, and certainly wish there were a reset button somewhere…

    Take care…

    1. Verheek says:

      It’s called Biblical values and living by example. It’s called reaching out to others and teaching them a better way of life. It’s called education.

      1. Erik says:

        it doesnt have to be biblical values. Almost every religion instills the same basic code of ethics and conduct. Look at Japan after their earthquake/tsunami. No looting anywhere and they credited that to their Buddhist belief system. New Orleans was a predominantly christian oriented community yet there is a stark contrast in behavior. No gang in japan took advantage of the situation to resort to looting or shooting at the police. It doesn’t reflect well that a religion we like to associate with brotherly love has loosly associated members behavior as such whereas the buddhists did not.

        1. Uncle Bernie says:

          Japan also has a refreshing lack of inner city black mofos.

  26. Hank Warren says:

    Bailouts for the banks, nothing for the working man, yet another violation of our rights. Add it to the list of gov’t violations of our rights:
    They violate the 1st Amendment by placing protesters in cages, banning books like “America Deceived II” and censoring the internet.
    They violate the 2nd Amendment by confiscating guns.
    They violate the 4th and 5th Amendment by molesting airline passengers.
    They violate the entire Constitution by starting undeclared wars for foreign countries.
    Impeach Obama, vote for Ron Paul.
    (Last link of Banned Book):

  27. Uncle Tom says:

    He got caught cause he is white. If he was black, the world doesn’t care none.

    1. fdafs says:

      if he was black it would be common

      1. JeddMcHead says:

        Not to mention “expected”.

  28. Bernard says:

    During desperate times, desperate people will do desperate acts. As our economy continues to shrink and California is run by the insane, expect worse news than this,. for example that child is literally a walking talking fortune. In a nation with a massive aging population the need for organs is becoming dangerously desperate and even a Kidney in the 80’s went for 30 thousand dollars. Now it probably would fetch 50 thousand plus. This kid could have been “harvested” for his kidneys, liver, lungs, heart, eyes, skin etc. total amount close to a million dollars.

    1. verheek says:

      Speaking of mentally unhinged…isn’t this a bit random?

      1. gsdfgsdf says:

        Go back to Pakistan you ahole

  29. goofier than him says:

    so you sick pucks think he outta have hung around, snapped and then maimed or killed the kid as the better way huh?
    dude is mentally gone as far as caring about anything – you bother to read all he wrote in his adios letter to the kid? Of course not — ya got hem there petty sick juvenile sized brains that don’t get a thing. Until it’s you – then you cry to the world about it’s unfair.
    Go grab a drink, turn on the Hitler diaries and imagine what it will be like when you are the ruling God

    1. Verheek says:

      Hahaha. Good call. We’re all armchair critics running on speculation and assumption fuel.

      1. sgs says:

        except you’re an idiot – that sets you apart

  30. YouDrankTheKoolAidSucka says:

    In the meantime, Barack HUSSEIN Obama is busy getting his Uncle Omar out of ICE jail, and working on Janet Napollitano to grant Uncle Omar Back Door Amnesty.

    Welcome to the USA under Barack HUSSEIN Obama…

  31. John says:

    America should have a better support system for familys. We send plenty of money over seas, but we let our own live on the street. Something is very wrong with our nation….very, very wrong.

  32. Red says:

    The guy didn’t leave his son with someone who cares. He left his son alone and took off for good. There should be no sympathy for him. As posters have already said, his Mom is a horrible person for leaving him, but his Dad goes and leaves him (just like his Mom did) and it’s “Aw, poor Dad was overwhelmed”. I call BS. Both parents suck. Who knows what could’ve happened to this poor kid if he hadn’t went to the neighbors, who called the police? There are NOT different standards for parents depending on sex. Mothers and Fathers alike are equally reponsible for the care of the child! I can’t believe people would excuse this Fathers behaviour because he’s a “single Dad”. The kid could be scarred for life, once by the Mom and then the Dad goes and victimizes him again!

  33. terry rohan says:

    at least he didn’t strap him in the back seat and drive him into a lake like some bogus man hating postpartum depression claiming gold digger like you probably are.

  34. Scabbeus says:

    First it was pets and now it is children…thank you Dhims!

  35. Awake at Night says:

    This is the first time I’m leaving a comment on a public forum. What a terribly sad, heart rending story. Is this what America has become? I really hope the poor father is reunited with his son soon, because they both need each other. And I really hope that the dad gets a job to support his family and move on positively in life. I hope the poor child gets all the support from the community that he can get. Sometimes, it’s important for the community to stand up for what is really important, not just politics, based on Right or Left. I really grieve tonight.

    this is the first time I’m leaving a comment on a public forum.

    1. Uncle Brnie says:

      You live in a fantasy world of make believe, a perfect candidate for leftist loons.

    2. Verheek says:

      Uh…maybe you should check out the poor side of town. You think child abandonment is uncommon?

  36. raffaro says:

    Poor guy all that responsibility a mortgage, monly bills, car payments, medical bills,annual taxes, tap dance and singing lessons, a kid that cant stop eating.

  37. mike says:

    looks good for 60!

  38. Frank says:

    To all of you bashing this guy, you have no clue. A friend of mine, a single father raising two boys on his own is in the same situation as this guy. Laid off from work close to losing his home. He is looking for work and unemployment does not cick in for at least two weeks which is long enough to fall behind on other bills and so forth. MASS Health will not allow him to get State health insurance or financial aid for his boys until he’s been out of work for a year! For years he has worked and paid taxes to the system and now for the first time in his life he needs help and the State says no. Yet, we see others that have never worked, keep pumping out babies and living off the State. I would crack also if I was this guy and I’m sure you would too!

  39. Will Harris says:

    Not only is there not anything wrong growing up poor, often it turns out to be the better deal. I experienced both worlds growing up. In my early youth, my folks had money but two failed businesses and we were broke. I had three sisters and a younger brother and we lived in an old ramshackle little house with two small bedrooms and a closed in back porch that became a shared room with the younger brother. My Dad, in 40’s, had to resort to making a living delivering the morning news. We got foodstamps and free cheese (what the heck, he’d paid taxes ) We ended up with an assortment of clunkers: Ford LTD. two Ford Mavericks and a Dodge Dart that became one of my older sister’s first cars . I usually found myself having to help my Dad do brake jobs on the vehicles,etc. We ended up rebuilding the engines of both Mavericks, the Dodge that became my sister’s and one 1970 Chevy Malibu SS with a 350 engine that purred like a bad kitty. We did all our work in a field next to the house (lovingly referred to as the RAT HOLE) Years later, my Dad found himself owning over seven straight trucks (two tandem axles in the bunch) and hauling steel and other things locally and nationally. I worked for him for ten years (much of the mechanical/routine maintenance like oil/filter changes was done in the lot) The only thing we got in this world worth a damned is each other. HOuses, new cars and gidgets and gadget and pointless little vain knick knacks come and go, you won’t really miss them as much as you think and kids will forget about them altogether. I remember more about crawling under the house to help the old man fix the broken down plumbing than I do about any big Christmases.

  40. okkk says:

    WOW, I didnt know DrudgeReport would ever make a link to a website about a white crime! And i was actually beginning to think that the site was prejudice!

    1. dasfsfd says:

      who knew you were so stupid? Are you still touching kids?

    2. JeddMcHead says:

      Yeah, we shouldn’t pay any attention to crime blacks commit, let alone report on it. We wouldn’t want to dimish their self-esteem, after all.

  41. Uncle Bernie says:

    The important thing is that he be tried in Orlando, where all will be forgiven.

  42. okkkiskwere says:

    Did anyone else here notice that Okkk is gay?

    1. okkk says:

      Awwwwww, someone’s frustrated over the truth. Republicants are like little children, everything is fine untill they dont get there way, then all we hear is crying and tantrums. Funny, they think in there little fantasy world that one day America will be all white again with no minorities or problems. Let the little one’s run with their creative imaginations. 🙂

  43. JeddMcHead says:

    That Playstation probably did the majority of the work raising the kid, anyway.

  44. JeddMcHead says:

    Btw, is it just me or does Dad look just a TAD crazed in this photo?

  45. Ralph says:

    looks like a cross (no pun intended) between don johnson and rod stewart…

  46. ralph says:

    looks like a cross between don johnson and rod stewart…

  47. Will Harris says:

    I’ve studied that dude’s eyes and he does look off his rocker. He’s exactly the kinda Dad I would want to have show up at the principal’s office to rescue me. “Hey Dad, put your architect skills and your kid to work building some dog houses. It’ll clear your head enuff to keep from decapitating someone you didn’t intend to decapitate but hopefully won’t take away that nutty look ya got going!”

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