A man and two toddlers who have been the subject of a search since the man allegedly took the children without their mother's permission in Riverside on Tuesday night were found in Utah on Thursday, police said.
Joshua Adle, 24, vanished with 18-month-old Darla Yonko and 8-month-old Emma Yonko on Tuesday night, Riverside Police Department investigators said.
The children's maternal grandfather, Steve Yonko, said his daughter remained too distraught to speak. "She's very happy happy the children are safe," he said.
The grandfather thanked law enforcement officers for their efforts.
"The officers were very kind, very thoughtful of the children," he said.
Adle and the children's mother, who was his girlfriend, became involved in a physical and verbal dispute, police said. A little over an hour later, the woman found the girls missing from their beds. The children's identifying documents and other items were also gone.
Adle told the mother he was taking the kids to a local business but never returned, according to a statement issued by Riverside police. Investigators suspected Adle was trying to make his way to Texas or Michigan with them.
The search came to an end Thursday afternoon.
While in the middle of a press conference announcing a warrant issued for Adle for kidnapping, parental abduction and domestic violence, Riverside police Lt. Charles Payne announced that the department had just been notified that the children and their father had been found.
"The suspect, his parents and the two children have been apprehended by the Highway Patrol in Utah," Payne said. "It appears that both children are safe."
Adle, the missing children and Adle's parents were taken into custody during a traffic stop along I-15 near Parawan, Utah, Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Nicholas Street said.
Adle and his parents were being detained. It was not clear if the parents would face charges.
Just prior to learning the children had been found, Payne said police are also looking for Adle's father as a potential person of interest in the case.
Further details of the apprehension were not available.
KTLA's Nidia Becerra contributed to this report.