The wife of a former Oakland CHP officer was arrested by the FBI on a warrant today charging her with molesting two of her husband's young children last year and having thousands of images of child pornography on a home computer, authorities said.
Her husband, Ken Fox, 35, is still at large and being sought on the same charges by authorities who said he may have tried to fake his own death in Mexico recently.
Arrested today in San Diego was Brandie Fox, also known as Brandie Gerth, 26, the children's stepmother. Authorities said she recently split from her husband and was arrested soon after crossing the border into the United States from Mexico.
Oakland police said the California Highway Patrol told them Ken Fox had been fired. CHP officials did not return phone calls seeking comment.
Brandie Fox was arrested on an Oakland police warrant charging her with lewd and lascivious conduct with a child and possession of child pornography.
Oakland police received an anonymous tip in March 2008 from someone who believed the children were being molested during visits to the couple's Oakland home on 36th Street, not far from CHP headquarters. The children live with their biological mother but visit Fox and his wife, police said.
Authorities said Ken Fox's four children range in age from 1 to 8. Authorities said their investigation revealed that the two oldest children, 5 and 8 at the time, were encouraged to fondle their stepmother's breasts and encouraged to talk about bondage. Police said the 5-year-old girl had a leather spiked collar placed around her neck and was walked around the couple's apartment on a leash.
Police said Brandie Fox was studying for her teaching credential at the time of the molestations and wanted to be a kindergarten teacher.
In March 2008, police served a search warrant at the 36th Street apartment and seized computers that turned out to contain more than 3,000 images of child pornography, including some pictures of infants. None of those images were of Ken Fox's own children, police said.
Police said the couple were interviewed in March 2008 but denied any wrongdoing. The couple were not arrested at the time and fled the area before investigators could confirm what happened to the children and get into the computers.
Anyone with information about the case may call the Oakland police at 510-238-3641.