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Nation/World

May 22, 2014

Woman found 10 years after kidnapping, police say

SANTA ANA, Calif. — A woman who was 15 when she disappeared from her California home a decade ago has contacted police and told them she was kidnapped by a man who sexually assaulted her, forced her into marriage and fathered a child with her, authorities said yesterday.

Police have arrested Isidro Garcia, 41, of Bell Gardens, on suspicion of kidnapping for rape, lewd acts with a minor and false imprisonment, according to a statement from the Santa Ana Police Department.

In 2004, when the victim was 15 and had recently arrived in the United States without legal documentation, Garcia was dating her mother and lived with the family, authorities said. The mother suspected that he was sexually abusing her daughter, police said.

In August 2004, Garcia assaulted the mother, drugged the girl and then fled with her to a house in Compton, locking her in a garage, the statement said.

Garcia provided the girl with false identification and used physical and emotional abuse to prevent her from fleeing, police said. Garcia repeatedly told the victim that her family had stopped searching for her and that they would be deported if she tried to leave, the statement said. They also moved frequently to avoid being found, police said.

“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,” police said in a written statement.

In 2007, Garcia got false identification papers for her from Mexico so he could marry her, Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said. They married at a courthouse, he said.

Those documents were just one instance of what police described as elaborate efforts that Garcia made to hide her age and name.

In 2012, he fathered a child with her.

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