Central Texas fugitive wanted for 23 years caught in New York

Posted at 4:27 PM, Jun 15, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-16 11:22:57-04

MEDINA, NY -- A former Central Texas man on the run from police for more than two decades was caught Friday in the upstate New York town of Medina.

Daniel Lee Kestel, 58, was arrested on a charge of interfering with child custody after avoiding law enforcement for 23 years, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a release Monday. Kestel is accused of taking his then 13-month-old son Justin Kestel on June 21, 1992.

According to the original complaint from Lorena police, Kestel was with his son for a scheduled custody visit, but never returned him to his mother in Lorena. Kestel had not shown up for work for two days prior to fleeing Texas. It was also discovered he had sold most of his household possessions from his home in Farmers Branch, TX.

Kestel's ex-wife, Karen Hunter had divorced him. Kestel allegedly suffered from an anger disorder for which he needed medication. The two had two children at the time, Justin and his 7-year-old brother.

At the time of the disappearance, authorities put out a nationwide alert, noting he had family in Ohio and California. According to the ABC Buffalo, NY affiliate WKBW, Kestel was living under the name Paul Bambinac when he was arrested. He's currently being held in the Orleans County Jail in New York and is awaiting extradition back to Texas.

Law enforcement believes his son, Justin Kestel, now 24, is alive and well, although they did not locate him.