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Police Rescue Kidnapped Baby, Arrest 3 Suspects

San Jose, CA – The three-month-old boy who was kidnapped from an apartment as his grandmother was unloading groceries from her car on Monday was located by police on Tuesday.

Brandon Cuellar was unharmed during his 20-hour disappearance and has been reunited with his mother, KTVU reported.

San Jose police have taken three people into custody in connection with the kidnapping.

Cuellar’s grandmother was unloading groceries at an apartment building located in the 1000-block of Elm Street at approximately 1 p.m. on April 25 when an unidentified man entered the bedroom where the infant was located and walked out holding a baby carrier covered with a white sheet, KABC reported.

The three-month-old little boy was inside.

San Jose police said the infant’s grandmother never saw the suspect entering the apartment.

Police released security footage showing the suspect walking down the sidewalk with the covered baby carrier, KABC reported.

“He left with a 3 month old baby,” the SJPD tweeted. “The family does not recognize this suspect.”

Investigators said Cuellar’s biological father is incarcerated and is not involved with the child, KABC reported.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Child Abduction Response Team was dispatched to the scene to assist in the search for the kidnapped boy.

Investigators went door-to-door in the neighborhood on Monday night, searching for potential witnesses and any additional information they could find, CNN reported.

They also asked residents who lived in the area to check their security cameras to see if they had any images of the baby or the kidnapper.

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) released a photo of a silver 2011 Nissan Quest on Tuesday morning in connection with the abduction, but the tweet and photo were taken down a short while later, KABC reported.

San Jose police later said the information contained in the CHP’s tweet wasn’t ready for public consumption, but details regarding the issue have not been released.

Witness Chris Martinez said it was that very photo that led his co-worker to contact police on Tuesday, KTVU reported.

Martinez said he and his co-worker were working at Canyon Springs Post Acute Care when his co-worker spotted the van parked near North Jackson Avenue and Mather Drive, according to the news outlet.

His coworker said the vehicle was not normally parked there and that he saw a baby seat inside the vehicle, according to Martinez.

Police responded to the scene and were seen loading the missing infant into an ambulance a short while later, KTVU reported.

A male inside the vehicle was taken into custody, according to Martinez.

San Jose police said Cuellar was not injured during the ordeal.

The location where he was found is approximately five miles away from his home, KRON reported.

“Baby Brandon has been located. He will be taken to a local hospital for an evaluation,” the agency tweeted. “Three suspects in custody, charges and additional information forthcoming. We [thank] all who helped by sharing the tweets.”

In addition to the Nissan Quest, officers also had at least two other vehicles towed after Cuellar’s rescue, KTVU reported.

Investigators have not released the identities of the three suspects who were taken into custody, but San Jose Assistant Police Chief Paul Joseph said they “know that’s there’s some connection” between those individuals and Cuellar’s family.

San Jose Police Department (SJPD) Sergeant Christian Camarillo said there is no question that the abduction was preplanned.

“This was not random,” he said, according to KTVU.

Sgt. Camarillo confirmed that police had detained a woman who had been with Cuellar’s grandmother on the day of the kidnapping as a “person of interest” due to “inconsistencies” in her statements to investigators about this incident, the New York Post reported.

“This was a person who was with the grandmother yesterday when they went shopping. She was present at the apartment complex when this happened,” the sergeant explained. “There have been some inconsistencies with what she has told us. Obviously, drawing our attention to what she knows about this.”

“She knows more than she’s telling us,” Sgt. Camarillo told KTVU.

The SJPD praised its officers, law enforcement partners, and the members of the community who helped ensure the successful rescue of the kidnapped infant.

“We have some of the finest detectives in the nation,” the SJPD tweeted. “Nobody went home yesterday. In less than 24 hours he was located, and three suspects are being held.”

“Thank you FBI. We appreciate all the help,” the agency said. “Along with our detectives our Patrol Officers, who began this investigation played a crucial role in this entire incident. Many of us are fathers, mothers, we were not going to give up until we found him. Great job Patrol! Home run. We appreciate you.”

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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