Missing Florida children found safe in Georgia after father hits head, forces wife out of car and drives off

Regional News

Jonathan Gonzalez

Labor Day Weekend
September 06 2021 08:00 am

MARIANNA, Fla. (WMBB) — A man who was seeking medical treatment after being hit in the head began acting “paranoid” and “strange” and ultimately threw his wife out of their vehicle at gunpoint and left with the couple’s two children, Jackson County deputies said.

The incident, which happened at about 6:40 p.m. Tuesday on Highway 231 and Kynesville road set off an intense multi-day and multi-agency search for the man and his children. That search ended safely Thursday when Jonathan Gonzalez was located in Macon, Ga., and arrested.

The children were found with him and were unharmed, deputies added.

Gonzalez’s wife described his actions as out of character. She told investigators that the family was seeking help after Gonzalez was struck in the head the night before in Bay County. While they were on the road Gonzalez, “become extremely paranoid they were being followed by other vehicles and being tracked by devices planted in their car.”

He then, “armed himself with a pistol and pointed it” at his wife and threatened her. When she pulled to the side of the road, Gonzalez got out of the vehicle and went around to the driver’s side, pulling his wife from the car at gunpoint.

He then drove off with the two children and left his wife on the side of the road, deputies said.

State, federal, and local law enforcement agencies from across the region joined the investigation and the search, according to Sheriff Donald L. Edenfield.

“This is a great example of how working together with our law enforcement partners can bring a swift
end to a very serious situation,” he said in a news release.

Gonzalez is now charged with aggravated assault with a firearm.

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