Child located safe after early morning Amber Alert, woman arrested for alleged kidnapping

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — A three-year-old girl was located in San Juan County just hours after a late-night Amber Alert was issued. The woman who allegedly abducted the child was arrested and faces felony charges.

The New Mexico State Police issued an Amber Alert at 12:54 a.m. on Feb. 4 asking the public to help locate Ava Spicer, a girl described as two feet, six-inches-tall with curly brown hair and brown eyes.

State police quickly followed up around 2:44 a.m. with a statement that Spicer had been located and that she was safe.

It has led to the arrest of 30-year-old Destinee Sweeney, who is charged with a first-degree felony count of kidnapping and a third-degree felony count of intimidation of a witness, according to Farmington Police Department Spokesperson Nicole Brown and San Juan County Adult Detention Center records.

Destinee Sweeney

The child was located around 2:19 a.m. on Feb. 4 at a residence along County Road 4029 in northeast San Juan County, near the Colorado-New Mexico state line, according to Brown.

Sweeney was found with the child and was arrested at the scene. Spicer was last seen around 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 3 in Aztec.

Sweeney got into an argument with her girlfriend around 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 3 in the Walmart parking lot at 1400 W. Main St. Sweeney is accused of driving off with the girl and resisting attempts by her girlfriend to return the child, according to Farmington police.

The girlfriend contacted police around 8:17 p.m. and provided information on Sweeney, Spicer and the vehicle the defendant was driving. 

Farmington police, state police and the San Juan County Sheriff's Office responded to the residence on County Road 4029 in the Middle Mesa area of Navajo Lake and located the woman and child. 

New Mexico State Police graphic of Ava Spicer, who was located about two hours after an Amber Alert was issued.

The defendant was driving a grey Mitsubishi Montero with a New Mexico license plate.

It was initially believed she was driving to Ignacio, Colorado.

Sweeney was booked into the county jail around 4:33 a.m. on Feb. 4. No last known address was listed for the defendant.

No court hearing had been scheduled involving the defendant as of 10 a.m. on Feb. 4.

Sweeney has two felony convictions for possession of a controlled substance and a pending case for a misdemeanor count of possession of a controlled substance, according to court records.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at

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