Thursday, April 19, 2018

California woman found 10 years after kidnapping (with video)

SANTA ANA, Calif. — A woman who was 15 when she disappeared from her California home a decade ago has contacted police and told them she was kidnapped by a man who sexually assaulted her, forced her into marriage and fathered a child with her, authorities said Wednesday.

Police have arrested Isidro Garcia, 41, of Bell Gardens, on suspicion of kidnapping for rape, lewd acts with a minor and false imprisonment, according to a statement from the Santa Ana Police Department.

In 2004, when the victim was 15 and had recently arrived in the United States without legal documentation, Garcia was dating her mother and lived with the family, authorities said. The mother suspected that he was sexually abusing her daughter, police said.

In August 2004, Garcia assaulted the mother, drugged the girl and then fled with her to a house in Compton, locking her in a garage, the statement said.

Garcia provided the girl with false identification and used physical and emotional abuse to prevent her from fleeing, police said. They also moved frequently to avoid being found, police said.

In 2007, Garcia got false identification papers for her from Mexico so he could marry her, Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said. In 2012, he fathered a child with her.

Garcia secured two jobs for them on a night cleaning crew so he could keep watch over her, authorities said. Bertagna said she tried to escape twice but was severely beaten.

The now-25-year-old woman, whose identity is not being released, first contacted authorities Monday. Police said she came forward to police after finding her sister on Facebook.

She has been reunited with her mother.

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