Wed., 9:50 pm: Police: Woman found 10 years after kidnapping
SANTA ANA, Calif. – A woman who disappeared as a teenager a decade ago was reunited with her family after she went to police and told them her mother’s ex-boyfriend drugged and kidnapped her in 2004, forced her to marry him and fathered her child.
Isidro Garcia, 41, of Bell Gardens, was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping for rape, lewd acts with a minor and false imprisonment, the Santa Ana Police Department police said.
Police described a decade during which the victim – abused mentally, physically and sexually by her captor – was moved at least four times and given multiple fake identities to hide her from family and authorities.
Garcia allegedly told her that her family had stopped trying to find her, and that if she tried to contact them they would be deported.
“Even with the opportunity to escape, after years of physical and mental abuse, the victim saw no way out of her situation and lived a life with Garcia under sustained physical and mental abuse,” police said in a written statement.
Neighbors were stunned, describing them as a seemingly happy couple who doted on their young daughter and liked to host parties at their apartment in the working-class community of Bell Gardens, about 20 miles from where she originally disappeared.
“He treats her like a queen. He does his best to do whatever she wants,” next-door neighbor Maria Sanchez said in Spanish.
The now-25-year-old woman, whose identity is not being released, first contacted authorities Monday – the same day Garcia was first arrested. Police said she came forward to police after finding her sister on Facebook.