The article you’re about to read is from our reporters doing their important work — investigating, researching, and writing their stories. We want to provide informative and inspirational stories that connect you to the people, issues and opportunities within our community. Journalism requires lots of resources. Today, our business model has been interrupted by the pandemic; the vast majority of our advertisers’ businesses have been impacted. That’s why the SC Times is now turning to you for financial support. Learn more about our new Insider’s program here. Thank you.

By Eric Heinz 

Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) announced on Tuesday, Sept. 18, that Kaia Fina, 11, who had been missing from her foster home in San Clemente since Sept. 6, was found safe in Beverly Beach, Oregon. She was with her biological mother, Sera Fina, 42, who has been arrested on suspicion of child abduction as she did not have custody rights at the time.

Kaia was believed to be at her foster home in San Clemente on Sept. 6. Her foster mother was the person who reported her missing.

U.S. Marshals found Kaia and Sera in Oregon after a federal warrant was issued for the mother’s arrest, according to OCSD spokesperson Carrie Braun.

“It’s been a cooperative effort under a variety of agencies,” Braun said.

Braun said law enforcement officials were given information that led them to believe Kaia could have been in Colorado and Idaho before the two wound up in Oregon. OCSD has not yet been able to interview Sera yet, as she’s being extradited back to Orange County.

“We were really relying on our federal partners to help us, knowing that they were able to move from state to state,” Braun said.

According to WPBF News in Florida, Kaia’s father, Philip Gregory, had a custody hearing on Sept. 6 in Orange County, but neither Sera nor Kaia showed up. Sera lost custody rights after being arrested and jailed for three days for an outstanding warrant in 2002, which was for driving a child improperly situated in a car seat.

Braun said an Amber Alert was not issued because law enforcement officials needed to know that a child has been abducted and the car information; however, OCSD and other state agencies had published information on the matter through social media, asking for the public’s assistance.

This is a developing story. More information will be provided when it becomes available. 


Trustworthy, accurate and reliable local news stories are more important now than ever. Support our newsroom by making a contribution and becoming a subscribing member today.

About The Author Staff

comments (2)

  • All this stems from a (different) child improperly buckled in a car/seat in 2002,..16 years ago, ugh!!! Drop it already, and go after hardcore criminals, sheesh! Why foster care for this child? No family local, or friends? Whats up with this story?

    • Hello Mom of Seven,
      Thanks for reaching out. I’m not sure why you’re asking us to drop the story. The police asked for the public’s help when a woman who police said did not have had custody rights of the child ran off with her to an unknown location. We did not know if she was in danger, and the public was asked to help, as she was living in San Clemente. We followed up on the story to let people who may have wanted closure to the matter know about the case. If you’d like to discuss the matter further, please email That is the email address for the city editor, Eric Heinz. Thank you for your time.

comments (2)

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>