Isidro Garcia is accused of kidnapping the daughter of his ex-girlfriend and holding her captive in Compton, California, over a period of ten years. The Santa Ana Police Department said in a May 21 press release that the victim, now 25, went missing when she was just 15 in August 2004. Isidro Medrano Garcia is listed as being 42 years old and living in Bell Gardens, California.
Here’s what you need to know about this horrifying story:
1. Garcia Is Accused of Kidnapping the Victim After Abusing Her Mother
According to cops in Santa Ana, the victim says that beginning in June 2004, Garcia began abusing her while he was dating her mother. The victim lived with her mother and sisters in an apartment in Santa Ana. Then in August 2004, the victim says that Garcia abused her mother. After that, the victim told police that Garcia drugged her and took her away from her family. She spent much of her life after the kidnapping living in a garage in Compton in Southern California. Though the pair did move from time-to-time to avoid the police. The victim says that she was given false identity documents from Garcia and worked alongside him at a night-cleaning service. He told her that her family had stopped looking for her and that if she attempted to reach out them, they would all be deported.
During the time of the alleged kidnapping, the victim lived across Southern California.
A missing persons report was filed for the victim in 2004.
2. Garcia Married the Victim in 2007
Over the course of her kidnapping, the victim told cops that in 2007 she was forced to marry Garcia and then in 2012 she had a child with him. During this time, she says the physical and mental abuse continued.
The victim, who has not been named, told ABC News in her first interview:
I’m so happy and God-blessed to be with my family. That’s what I want all the time. All the time, I cry for them, more for my mom and sisters.
While speaking to the station, the victim was clutching her 3-year-old daughter in her arms.
3. After Years of Captivity, the Victim Reached Out to Her Family
Eventually, Garcia reached out to her sister and Facebook and Garcia was arrested. NBC Los Angeles, quoting the Orange County District Attorney’s office said, “Over the course of many, many years, maybe her freedoms did increase but she was still mentally his captive.”
The Santa Ana police said in a release:
On 5-20-14, Isidro Garcia, age 41 of Bell Gardens, was arrested and booked for 209(b)(1) PC – Kidnap for Rape, 288(c)(1) PC – Lewd Act With Minor and 273(a) PC – False Imprisonment. The case has been submitted to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office for filing consideration.
In total, he’s been charged with one felony count of forcible rape, three felony counts of lewd acts on a minor and one felony count of kidnapping to commit a sexual offense, reports NBC Los Angeles. He’s being held on a $1 million bail. If convicted, Garcia could face up to 19 years in prison.
4. Garcia’s Lawyer Says the Victim ‘Is Making This Up’
Garcia’s lawyer, Charles Fiasco, told NBC Los Angeles, “[The victim] has her own motives for making something like this up. There’s no indication of any physical or mental abuse.”
5. The Victim Said Garcia ‘Worked Hard For Me and My Daughter’
The woman said that Garcia was popular in their neighborhood because everybody thought that he was “hard working.” She added:
He worked hard for me and my daughter and he bought everything I want, but I need love of my family, not things. I was very afraid about everything, because I was alone. I (thought) I was alone, but I never was. My family was with me.
Her mother, also speaking to ABC News, said the Garcia must be punished for his crimes, she added “God is everything.” A nanny who helped care for the victim’s 3-year-old, said the woman and Garcia seemed like “the perfect couple.” Though investigators say that the victim twice attempted escape but was recaptured and “severely beaten.”