Three Carter County Sheriff deputies were recognized for their efforts to locate a missing infant after the child was allegedly kidnapped in June. 

Deputies Joel Ramirez, Jared Trotts and David Duggan received the Commendation Award at the Oklahoma Sheriffs’ Association 2019 Conference in Midwest City earlier this month. 

The four-month-old child went missing June 12 after the suspect, 33-year-old Danny Gordon, allegedly took the infant from its mother and threatened to run the mother over with his vehicle. 

“He was abducted by a male who took him all the way up to Tahlequah and that’s where we recovered him with other law enforcement officers,” Ramirez said. 

Deputies recovered the child unharmed the following day, but it was not easy, said Ramirez, who worked around 27 hours to locate the child.  

“It went from meeting with the mother who was almost run off the road and the child being abducted to then trying to negotiate with the father over the phone to bring the child back and he wouldn’t,” Ramirez said. 

Deputies attempted to track the suspect’s vehicle with no luck. However, things turned around when law enforcement officers were able to pinpoint Gordon’s location based on his cell phone. 

Ramirez said he then prepared an amber alert and other agencies, including the FBI, U.S. Marshals and the Muskogee, Tahlequah and Ardmore Police Departments, began working together to find the child. 

“I’m tracking the vehicle moving north and it took several, several hours and quite a few local and federal agencies to get involved in order to recover the baby,” Ramirez said. 

Dr. Henry Ramirez, Deputy Ramirez’s brother who is part of Southern Oklahoma Women’s Health, said his brother’s prior training was a major factor in quickly locating the child. The FBI offers a national academy for law enforcement at its campus in Quantico, Virginia. 

“He is super trained through Quantico, so he learned how to get all the different agencies in a hurry. So that’s how they were able to catch that person,” Dr. Ramirez said. “The sheriff’s department has got someone who is really highly trained and I’m glad it’s my brother.” 

The Department of Human Services evaluated the child on scene and later placed him back in custody with his mother. However, the Carter County Sheriff’s Department is still looking for Gordon. 

As someone who responds to and investigates child abuse incidents on a regular basis, Ramirez said he considers ensuring the safety of the child a success. 

“It means quite a bit,” Ramirez said. “I believe God brought me to the Carter County area for a reason. With my brother delivering and bringing babies onto this Earth, I’ve been brought over, I believe, to protect the children.”

Ramirez said he is very passionate about protecting the children of Carter County, but that he couldn’t do it without the help of his fellow officers. 

“It’s not all me, the other guys helped as well and they worked really hard,” Ramirez said. “I’ve been given the opportunity to be there for the kiddos but all the other deputies deserve the glory as well because they work just as hard.”  

Anyone with information on Gordon’s whereabouts is advised to contact the Carter County Sheriff’s Department at (580) 223-6014.