Isidro Garcia was booked on suspicion of kidnapping, rape,
lewd acts with a minor and false imprisonment.
REUTERS/Santa Ana Police Department
A woman abducted from her suburban Southern California
home when she was 15 has been found alive after a decade-long
ordeal of physical and sexual abuse, and her accused kidnapper
has been arrested, police say.
Now 25, the woman told detectives she was kidnapped in August
2004 by a man who had been living with her family in Santa
Ana, the city's police department said in a statement. She
was not named by authorities.
Over the years, the woman was sexually assaulted by her
abductor and gave birth to his child in 2012, police said.
She contacted authorities on Tuesday after first reaching out
to her sister on Facebook, police said.
Isidro Garcia, 41, was taken into custody on Tuesday at the
home where he was living with the woman in the city of Bell
Gardens, about 20 miles (32 km) from Santa Ana, and booked on
suspicion of kidnapping, rape, lewd acts with a minor and
false imprisonment, police said.
The woman's escape comes a year after three Ohio women were
freed from a home in suburban Cleveland, telling authorities
that they had been held captive there for years and abused by
their captor, Ariel Castro.
Castro pleaded guilty to 937 counts including aggravated
murder for forcing one of the women, whom he had impregnated,
to miscarry. He was found hanged in his cell a month into a
life sentence in a death later ruled a suicide.
In the California case, the then-teenager's mother reported
her missing, along with Garcia, shortly after he fled the
home with her daughter. Their whereabouts remained unknown
for the next 10 years.
The young woman told authorities that Garcia, who lived with
her family, began sexually abusing her in June 2004 and took
her from the home in August of that year after assaulting her
mother, police said.
She told police that on the night of her abduction, Garcia
drugged her and locked her overnight in a garage in the
nearby city of Compton.
He moved with the teenager several times during the following
months and years, police said, giving her false
identification under a different name and telling her that
family members had stopped looking for her and would be
deported if she tried to contact them.
Garcia frequently assaulted the woman physically and sexually
over the next 10 years, forcing her into marriage in 2007 and
later impregnating her, she told police.
Police said Garcia arranged for both of them to work at a
nighttime cleaning service so he could keep watch over her,
and added that she saw no way to escape.
A woman who lived near Garcia's home in Bell Gardens told
local KCBS-TV that she had interacted with him and the woman
and never considered that anything was amiss.
"She always seemed happy," the woman said.