SAN JOSE – A woman conspired with a man to kidnap her family friend’s three-month-old baby while the baby’s grandmother was unloading groceries from her car, a frantic 18-hour search by law enforcement attracted national attention, officials said on Thursday. a criminal complaint.
San Jose residents Yesenia Guadalupe Ramírez, 43, and Jose Roman Portillo, 28, were charged with a felony in connection with the kidnapping of a child, kidnapping a child under the age of 14, and first-degree theft — all felony . Boy Baldomo Sandoval, 37, was initially identified and arrested by San Jose police as the third suspect, but prosecutors did not file charges against him on Thursday.
San Jose police confirmed that Sandoval would be released from custody on Thursday, saying details about his involvement in the case “have come to light” and that he will not face charges.
Portillo and Ramírez were to appear in the Hall of Justice at Santa Clara Superior Court on Thursday afternoon.
The search for the child and the suspects accused of kidnapping her began shortly after 1 p.m. Monday after authorities received information about a missing child in the 1000 block of Elm Street. It ended Tuesday morning when law enforcement received a notification from an employee of a nursing home in an Eastern neighborhood about five miles from where the baby had been taken; The authorities found the three-month-old girl safe.
According to a criminal complaint, Ramirez was with the child on Monday and provided Portillo a vehicle and a car seat sometime between April 1 and April 25. Portillo, who was identified by police as the man captured in surveillance footage, was approaching Grandma’s apartment. The car seat, went to the apartment, took the child and left the scene. Portillo placed the infant at his home, as well as a vehicle provided by Ramirez. Police said Ramirez was a family friend of the child’s grandmother.
Prosecutors said Portillo also purchased baby care essentials, including diapers and formula, between April 20 and April 25.
According to officials, Ramirez allegedly took the child and the boy’s grandmother to work before the kidnapping. The girl’s grandmother told the police that after the shopping trip she went out for a while to unload groceries from her car. Police said by the time she returned, the boy was gone.
Ramirez was initially named a “person of interest” on Tuesday. She became extra suspicious after police changed the statements of her witnesses several times during the post-abduction interviews, leading officers to believe she knew more than she was giving.
Police executed a search warrant at Portillo’s home in San Jose, finding the child healthy and harmless; Portil was arrested. The child was taken to the regional medical center for medical examination and then reunited with his family.
Police said they issued an endangered missing person alert to the public instead of an amber alert because they did not initially have vehicle information or license plates. Once they found that information in a later search, officers did not want to release details of the vehicle used in the kidnapping, for fear that the suspected San Jose Police Sgt. Christian Camarillo said. He also said that police already knew about the suspect vehicle when the California Highway Patrol issued an alert Tuesday about the 2011 Silver Nissan Quest and then removed it.
Chris Martinez, operations director for Canyon Springs Post Acute Care near the home where the child was found, said his coworker noticed a gray Nissan outside their facility on Mather Drive at 8 a.m. and felt it matched the description of one. The account is in connection with the kidnapping of the vehicle demanded by the CHP at one place.
His co-workers, whom he said did not want to speak to the media, went to take a closer look at the car. Martinez said that after seeing an empty car seat inside, he called the San Jose Police Department, who arrived at the scene and stopped the vehicle before turning their attention to another vehicle down the road.
“We were concerned citizens, and we need to be more concerned not only with what is going on here, but outside our facility as well,” Martinez said.