World
Girl who vanished 10 years ago found alive, says was kidnapped
Publish Date: May 22, 2014
Girl who vanished 10 years ago found alive, says was kidnapped
This police booking mug obtained May 21, 2014 courtesy of the Santa Ana Police Department shows kidnap and sexual assault suspect Isidro Garcia. PHOTO BY AFP
  • mail
  • img
newvision

LOS ANGELES - California police have arrested a 41-year-old man accused of kidnapping a teenager and sexually abusing her for a decade, after the alleged victim got in touch via Facebook.
 
The woman, now 25, was forced to marry her alleged captor, and neighbors described them leading an apparently normal life.
 
"He's a good guy," one neighbor told KTLA television when asked about Isidro Garcia, the live-in boyfriend of the girl's mother at the time.
 
"I see him every day, going to work, (saying) 'Hi, how you been?'"
 
NPR radio cited neighbors as identifying the young woman as having the first name Laura, and said she was able to drive a car.
 
The then 15-year-old victim was seized in Santa Ana, southeast of Los Angeles, in 2004 by Garcia, police said Wednesday.
 
 
'No way out' 
 
She came forward herself, triggering the arrest Tuesday of her alleged kidnapper, identified as Garcia, 41.
 
The victim, whose identity was not immediately revealed, had opportunities to escape during the last decade, but "saw no way out of her situation," a police statement said.
 
In 2007, Garcia allegedly forced her into a marriage and in 2012, they had a child together.
 
She finally came forward after recently contacting her sister via Facebook, and "eventually gained the courage to contact the police," said the statement.
 
Garcia -- who lives in Bell Gardens, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) from Santa Ana in the Los Angeles suburbs -- was booked for kidnapping and rape, lewd acts with a minor and false imprisonment.
 
The teenager went missing in August 2004 with Garcia.
 
"Garcia drugged the victim and drove her to a house in Compton," police said, referring to a rough south LA neighborhood.
 
Once there, he had false identity documents made for her and "locked her overnight in a garage to prevent the victim from fleeing," the statement added.
 
"Over the course of the following months and years, Garcia repeatedly told the victim her family had given up looking for her, and if she tried to go back to them, the family would be deported."
 
They moved several times to avoid police detection.
 
 
Frequent abuse 
 
"Garcia frequently physically and sexually assaulted the victim," police said, adding that he arranged for the pair to work nights for a cleaning service, "so he could keep a close eye on the victim."
 
"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," it added.
 
A former neighbor told the LA Times that she had spoken to the victim's mother, shortly before she disappeared.
 
"I spoke to her mom about God," 54-year-old Silvia Suarez told the newspaper.
 
"She said she was having problems with her partner. She believed he was romancing her daughter."
 
Araceli Ochoa, a leasing agent for the apartment complex, said he spoke to the mother after her daughter's disappearance.
 
"She couldn't understand how her daughter could leave," he told the LA Times.
 
Ochoa said he was happy for the mother.
 
"I am very excited that they found her. But it's still a tragedy that she has to live with every day now," he said. "Each day with him probably felt like 100 years to her."
 
The case recalls that of three young women held captive for a decade in Cleveland, Ohio, and freed last year after one of them broke free.
 
In that case police found ropes and chains in the house where the women -- Amanda Berry, 27, Gina DeJesus, 23, and Michelle Knight, 32 -- were held since disappearing in separate incidents.
 
Their captor, Ariel Castro, hanged himself in prison in September.
 
AFP
 
Related story
 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
North Korea seeks joint probe into Sony hack
North Korea on Saturday called for a joint investigation with the United States into a crippling cyber attack on Sony Pictures, claiming it had means to prove Pyongyang had nothing to do with it....
Two men burnt alive in DRC after attack
Two men are burnt alive by civilians in the DR Congo''s volatile east after they attacked a military office....
Obama to N. Korea over Sony hack:
US President Barack Obama has warned North Korea it would face retaliation for a crippling cyber attack on Sony Pictures over an irreverent film comedy that infuriated Pyongyang....
N. Korea denies involvement in Sony cyber attack
North Korea's UN mission denies involvement in a cyber attack on Sony Pictures after the US FBI said it had evidence that Pyongyang was behind the hacking....
Vatican shuts down scrollmakers
The Vatican cracks down on the business amid reports of fake parchments being peddled to unwitting tourists for pricey sums....
Boko Haram
Boko Haram has kidnapped at least 185 people, including women and children, in northeast Nigeria, the latest mass abduction in a region where the military has repeatedly struggled to protect civilians, officials and witnesses said Thursday....
Do you agree with the ban on the export of maids?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter