An asthmatic 10-year-old girl who disappeared earlier this week with her 33-year-old ex-con cousin was found unharmed and the man was arrested, authorities said.
"The suspect is in custody and the child is safe," an LAPD officer told a local TV station.
Sharie Renee Simmons, who left her home in Palmdale without her respirator, had last been seen in the 36000 block of Justin Court about 6 p.m. local time Monday. She was with Duran Lyles, 33, said sheriff's Deputy Alba Yates.
Authorities issued an Amber Alert and concern mounted for the safety of the youngster, who needs to receive treatment for severe asthma via a "nebulizer" inhalant machine every four hours, Yates said.
The child's mother, Glynis Fitzpatrick, said she had allowed her nephew, Lyles, to borrow her van to go to a nearby convenience store, then allowed her daughter to go along to get some Cheetos.
The mother's van was spotted in Arleta, Calif., by authorities reportedly acting on a tip.
Sheriff's Deputy Rich Pena said Lyles is a registered sex offender in Virginia, where he did time for spousal rape — a crime that did not involve children. He has no permanent address in California.
"He's making some bad decisions because he's on drugs," Sharon James, Lyle's mother, said Tuesday.
"He's not using common sense — like I said, making bad decisions because of his drug addiction, but I know that no way would Duran ever do anything to hurt Sharie."
Fitzpatrick said Lyles is her nephew, but they are just three years apart and grew up as brother and sister.
"He's been in my home. I've never seen anything ... out of the ordinary. She's never said he's tried to do anything to her," Fitzpatrick said Tuesday.
She said the recent wildfires caused her daughter to undergo inhalant machine treatments every four hours. Her last was at 5 p.m. local time Monday.
"It's very life-threatening," Fitzpatrick said. "She's had two episodes where we almost lost her."
ABCNEWS affiliate KABC in Los Angeles contributed to this report.