Tue. Jun 25th, 2024

The mother of a 3-month-old baby kidnapped from their San Jose, California home said a woman arrested in the case met the family at church and had been spending a lot of time with them ever since she was nine months pregnant.

Carolina Ayala told Spanish language television stations Wednesday that after she gave birth, 43-year-old Yesenia Ramirez, was a constant presence at her home.

“She would go to my house a lot, she always wanted to be there,” Ayala said in Spanish in an interview.

Ramirez was arrested in the kidnapping of Brandon Cuellar along with Baldomeo Sandoval and 28-year-old Jose Portillo, who police said entered the family’s second-floor apartment on Monday and took the baby while his grandmother unloaded groceries.

Doorbell camera evidence

Sandoval, who Ayala said is Ramirez’s husband, was released without charges Thursday, San Jose Police officials said in a statement.

“Details regarding Sandoval’s involvement with this case have come to light and he will not be facing charges at this time,” it said.

SEE ALSO: Identities of Suspects Accused of Kidnapping 3-Month-Old Baby Released By Police In California

Ramirez and Portillo were arraigned Thursday on kidnapping, felony burglary and conspiracy charges and are being held without bail.

Attorneys with the Santa Clara County Public Defender’s Office, which is representing Ramirez and Portillo, did not immediately return a phone message from The Associated Press.

Portillo was captured on surveillance video carrying a baby car seat and a small blanket and walking toward the apartment, police said. They said the motive for the kidnapping is still under investigation.

On Monday, Ramirez offered to buy supplies for the baby and drove the baby and his grandmother, Victoria Mejia, to the store and back home, Mejia told the Telemundo affiliate. Police said Ramirez had been communicating with Portillo moments before he took the baby and drove away.

Ayala said she was at work cleaning a home when her sister-in-law called her to let her know her child was missing.

“I felt like half of my heart had left with him. I felt like I died,” Ayala told KDTV-TV.

Police found the unharmed baby on Tuesday inside a home where Portillo lived.

Ayala was reunited with her son hours later, a moment she described as “having my soul return to my body.”

“I cried out of joy, I cried until I got tired of crying,” she said.

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By Buffy Gunner

Independent Journalist + Business Owner | Lover of all things true crime. Mantra: Only YOU can be YOU. | Los Angeles Born | buffygunner@illicitdeeds.com