Child abandonment suspect caught in Cambria

August 30, 2011

Steven Alexander Cross

A Minnesota architect accused of abandoning his 11-year-old son was arrested Monday afternoon in Cambria while working in a deli. [MinneapolisStarTribune]

Steven Alexander Cross, 60, appeared to be living in his van, reported arresting deputies. The Ford Windstar van Cross was driving was spotted by San Luis Obispo County sheriff’s deputies, and he was questioned.

Cross is wanted in his home state for gross misdemeanor child neglect and will be extradited, Minnesota authorities told the Star Tribune.

Cross disappeared from the Lakeville home he shared with his son July 18. When the boy awoke that morning, he found two notes from his father, which suggested the dad was having financial troubles.

One note instructed the boy to take his PlayStation and go to a neighbor’s house, and that the house was to be sold at a sheriff’s sale. The other asked neighbors to take care of the child.

The boy told authorities that his knowledge of other family members was limited, and that his father said his mother was dead, but one of the letters said she is still alive. The child is now living with an aunt.

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I pray these are not just the sprinkles of a coming storm, but nonetheless, be prepared.

I hope the boy and his father can work things out, it is not an easy situation.


I hear you

When I was a young man

I remember my dad telling me that during hard times

Men would leave their wife and children so they could get welfare

Other men would break a window and wait for the police to come so they could have food shelter and clothing in jail.


What a piece of work. Abandoning his son, which was devistating to the boy by the way. Then traveling all the way to one of the cushiest / well off locations in california , gaining a job too.

I dont even have words to describe how I feel about this low-life of a father. You cant tell me he has ever had the best interest of his child in mind, just himself. Here son, you go live with the neighbors and oh by the way your mom is alive not dead. Again, What a piece of work. His son deserves better. I will take him, he can come to cali and have a better life than that piece of “you know what” for a dad would ever give him. If ever there was a time for us to gather for a greater cause, here, this young man deserves it. Hugs and love to you youngster, hopefully this experience will build a strong dad in you with a determination to never abandon or mislead his own children. Build good character from your mistakes and life will be good to you.

As hard as it is to imagine defending this guy, I can’t help but feel this was an act of a desperate man who was unraveling under financial pressure. If you read the article from his local paper, you would see that he was a single dad who cared about his son and had been unemployed and foreclosed upon. The “dead” mother was granted visitation rights when the boy was two years old but had never exercised them. He must have thought telling him she was dead would be a less painful way of handling that. He did try to make contact with the boy through an old friend, as pathetic an attempt as it was. As a mom, I can’t fathom reaching such a point – and I am so thankful for that. Sometimes I think we assume all are blessed with equal strengths and resources. And we judge accordingly. Oh how we judge.

it could have been worse. at least he ran off instead of committing murder-suicide.

After reading his statements, I’ve come to the conclusion that he was definitely depressed and probably was going to kill himself when the money ran out.

The boy is facing some hard time ahead and just maybe his dad will get the help he needs in jail. Hopefully they can be reunited and in time, both become productive citizens.

Yep. This CCN article leaves out relevant info from the original article. Single dad–home going into foreclosure–mother hasn’t seen kid in 9 yrs… This guy was desperate. Hope he gets some help so he can be reunited w/his son.

I stand by my comment, I believe mom may have been scared to come visit. Maybe there is some histoyr there. We will see if she steps up. Lets hope she loves her son and comes forward. I am praying for that as soon as I read the story. Sorry first impressions are my downfall but I feeling isnt changing on this guy. I dont know why but I just feel that way. Thank goodness I am entitled to my opinion. I will never with bad on this man or his family but you and I both know that other options exist and running out on your son who has no family by your words is left to wonder while he hangs out in sunny Cambria with a job he swears he could never find. Why not take your son with you, forget all the posessions and stuff, but leave your family? I say no ! Wrong, out of line. Bad Form DAD.

The guy was working in a deli–hardly the career he trained for as an architect. He was living in his van–hardly a comfortable situation for a 10 year old boy. And the boy’s mother never exercised her custodial rights–hardly an involved or caring mom.

So yeah, the dad absolutely made a bad choice but times are hard and I wouldn’t doubt if we see more sad stories similar to this one. Like Bob said, let’s be glad the dad didn’t do a murder-suicide like some distraught parents do.