Authorities looking into the case subsequently found "a handgun -- a pistol -- and a large sum of money."
Tantaksinanukij said he didn't know why the boys and their father ended up in Austin, or how long they'd been there. But he said the case might not have been solved Saturday night without the alert citizen, as well as the Amber Alert system that publicizes news of missing and endangered children on highways, in police stations and around the United States.
"The law enforcement community nationwide, we take these Amber Alerts seriously when it deals with kids," Tantaksinanukij said. "This was one of the cases where it was activated and it worked."
Around the time her estranged husband was being taken into custody, Nash said she got a call from a man who said, "I'm sitting here with your two sons."
He then handed the phone to the boys. Unaware of the commotion, the boys said Daniel Cleary had told them their mother was in the hospital, Nash said. They talked about other things as well -- like the birthday boy Henry bragging about how he'd been kicking Ben's butt on iPad games, and Nash telling them she'd gotten the brothers an Xbox for Christmas.
"They were all joy," she said.
For now, her boys are healthy and with police, "doing what kids should be doing right now -- they're playing," said Tantaksinanukij.
Nash said Saturday night that she was flying first thing to Dallas, then renting a car and driving to Austin. She doesn't know where or when she'll pick her sons up, "but we have plenty of time to figure it out."
She thanked the media for showcasing her family's story, and was taken aback by how much things changed for her and her family in a moment's notice.
"It is amazing," Nash said. "I had lost hope."