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Father speaks out after Arizona Amber Alert

Justin Bylsma
Posted at 3:28 PM, Feb 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-24 23:52:44-05

PHOENIX, AZ — Police say two children are safe and unharmed after an Amber Alert was issued Saturday night. The father, accused of taking them, tells ABC15 he believes he did nothing wrong.

Justin Bylsma says he shares the two children with his wife. He admits, they were having some marital problems. "I came across some information that made me and my wife want to separate, get a divorce," Bylsma said.

He says he believed his wife was cheating on him, and they got in a dispute about it while traveling through northern Arizona. "I left the situation, she left with the truck," Bylsma said.

Bylsma says his wife took the children and he headed back to Utah, where they're originally from. But on his way back, he says he got in a car accident.

"She called me in the ICU not to see how I was doing but to say she was taking off with the kids and I would never be able to find them," Bylsma said. "The police told me its 50/50. She can go wherever she wants with the kids, just like you can."

Bylsma says he eventually followed her to Phoenix and found her in an animal shelter parking lot near 27th Avenue and Lower Buckeye Road.

"She went to the animal shelter, left the kids in the truck with the truck running and went inside," Bylsma said. "I sat there for 10 minutes. She didn't come back out."

Bylsma says he put the kids in his car and left. He says he called his wife and told her he had them. He says he had no idea an Amber Alert was issued and that police were looking for him until they knocked on his hotel room door.

"Phoenix police decided to serve me with a protective order that was all lies, none of it was ever verified, and take my kids away from me," Bylsma said.

Bylsma showed ABC15 that protective order, he says his wife filed. In it, it claims Bylsma threatened to kill whoever he believed his wife was having an affair with, an accusation she denies.

"I think that's a pretty normal reaction when you're in love with someone and your heart's torn out," Bylsma said.

But Bylsma says he's not violent. "I've never harmed my kids," he said. "I want my family back together and this lady she took off with my kids, she's taking off with them again, and no one will help."

Phoenix police told ABC15 they are investigating Bylsma's claims and will provide an update once they get more information.