A woman who vanished from her home in Santa Ana nearly a decade ago at age 15 has been found and she told police she had been kidnapped, sexually assaulted and held captive in Los Angeles County, police said Wednesday.
Isidro Garcia was arrested Tuesday and booked on suspicion of kidnapping for rape, lewd acts with a minor and false imprisonment, Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said.
The unidentified victim, now 25, called police nearly 10 years after she was reported missing by her mother to Santa Ana police.
Santa Ana Police Department said that after the alleged kidnapping Garcia had given the teenager false papers, claimed her relatives had stopped looking for her and said they would be deported if she tried to return.
Police said that on the night the teenager disappeared, Garcia had allegedly assaulted her mother, then drugged the girl and driven her to a house in Compton, a suburb of Los Angeles.
The alleged victim told police she was initially locked in a garage overnight to prevent her from running away.
“The two moved on several occasions to avoid police detection. Garcia frequently physically and sexually assaulted the victim. Garcia arranged for the two of them to receive employment at a night cleaning service, so he could keep a close eye on the victim,” police said in a statement setting out the claims against Garcia.
“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.
“In 2007, Garcia forced the victim into a marriage and in 2012 the two had a child.”
She escaped after finding her sister on Facebook and gaining the courage to contact the police, the statement said.
Her mother had reported her daughter missing and told police that she thought Garcia had been sexually abusing her daughter in the weeks before the incident, but had no evidence to support it.
The alleged victim told them her mother’s suspicions had been correct, claiming that Garcia first started sexually assaulting her about a month before her disappearance.