Protective Orders Weren’t Enough – Family Abducted and Ripped Apart
Photo: Nicholas Zeko
MORENO VALLEY – A five-day series of alarming circumstances – commencing on September 16th – had law enforcement from Moreno Vally to Modesto fully engaged. The source of all of this: a man with several active felony and misdemeanor warrants -including terrorist threats, battery on a former spouse, and willful cruelty to a child.
Nicholas Zeko (34 years old, 5’11” 205 lbs) had plenty listed against him. Most importantly, there were active Criminal Protective Orders protecting his girlfriend Mariella (Pricilla) Costello, and their two sons, Gino and Memphis, from this man.
First, Nicholas had sent a text message to Pricilla’s family telling them he’d dropped her off, left the location – and had taken her wallet and cell phone with him. He’d told family members that he had the couple’s children: Gino Costello (9 years old) and Memphis Zeko (5 years old).
Moreno Valley Sheriff’s Station Deputies responded to a reported suspicious circumstance near the area of Sunnymead Ranch Parkway and Village Road, Moreno Valley. Pricilla, a previously-unreported missing person, was named by an out-of-state relative on 09/17/2021 as being dropped off on Village Road on 09/16/21, by her boyfriend Nicholas Zeko.
Frighteningly – Pricilla hadn’t been heard from since September 16th. A Child Abduction/Missing Persons alert went out on 09/17/21 at 8:30 PM, while deputies didn’t know the location of Pricilla, or the boys Gino and Memphis:
“Investigators believe Nicholas is driving a two-tone white/gold 2005 Ford Expedition with a black and yellow California legacy plate of V449G0. Investigators believe Nicholas took the children to the Modesto, CA area. Pricilla, Gino, and Memphis are entered into the Missing Persons System.”
Investigators from Moreno Valley Station assumed the investigation and made contact with Nicholas. The suspect was adamant about leaving Pricilla on Village Road, Moreno Valley on 09/16/21 between 10-11 PM.
Multiple updates sent between 09/18/21 and 09/20/2021 included the following: “Gino and Memphis were located with Nicholas at a hotel in Modesto by Modesto Police Department. The Amber Alert was canceled,” said said Sergeant Nathan Kaas. “Marcella Costello’s location is still unknown.”
A late-breaking alert followed on September 20th – “Mariella Pricilla Costello was found safe, no other information is available at the this time,” said Sgt. Kaas.
Anyone with information about this harrowing incident is encouraged to call Investigator Chris Ibrahim of the Moreno Valley Sheriff’s Station at 951-486-6700, or the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department at 951-776-1099.