Bizarre sailboat abduction
Two California children were abducted from their central California home and taken aboard a stolen 41-foot sailboat by their mother’s estranged boyfriend in September.
The boyfriend, who is also the children’s father, Christopher Maffei, had taken the children from their home where they were being cared for by their grandmother. Their mother, Jennifer Hipon, was at court in the process of filing custody documents when the abduction occurred.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies began tracking the boat after it left Alameda Harbor. The boat then departed San Francisco Bay and was tracked from the air heading toward Monterey. A Coast Guard cutter in Monterey Bay intercepted the stolen vessel. Maffei surrendered without incident and the children were rescued and found to be unharmed. They were reunited with their mother and the stolen sailboat was returned to its owner.