Police: Woman helped plan kidnapping of baby in California

Apr 27, 2022, 12:29 PM | Updated: 4:37 pm

This photo released Monday, April 25, 2022, by the San Jose Police Department shows 3-month old Bra...

This photo released Monday, April 25, 2022, by the San Jose Police Department shows 3-month old Brandon Cuellar. Police say Brandon, who was kidnapped from his San Francisco Bay Area home, was found Tuesday, April 26 and three suspects were detained. (San Jose Police Department via AP)

(San Jose Police Department via AP)

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — A woman arrested in the kidnapping of a 3-month-old baby from his San Francisco Bay Area home is a friend of the family and was present when a man abducted the baby while his grandmother unloaded groceries, police said Wednesday.

Yesenia Ramirez, 43, had driven the child and his grandmother on a shopping trip and had been communicating with Jose Portillo before he entered the second floor San Jose apartment and took the baby Monday, San Jose Police Sgt. Christian Camarillo said.

A motive for the kidnapping is still under investigation, Camarillo said.

Portillo, 28, was captured on surveillance video carrying a baby car seat and a small blanket and walking toward the apartment, he said.

“It was a clear indication that this was planned, premeditated,” Camarillo said.

Little Brandon Cuellar was found unharmed Tuesday inside a home where Portillo lived after detectives located a van they believed had been used in the kidnapping. The baby was taken to a hospital to be checked and reunited hours later with his mother, who was working at the time of the abduction.

Another man, Baldomeo Sandoval, 37, was also arrested. Camarillo said Sandoval played a role in the kidnapping but gave no other details.

The relationship among the three suspects was not disclosed “to maintain the integrity of the investigation,” Camarillo said.

All three have been charged with kidnapping and are scheduled to be arraigned Thursday. It was not immediately known if they have an attorney who can speak on their behalf.

The baby’s father is incarcerated and police don’t believe he played a role in his child’s abduction, Camarillo said.

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Police: Woman helped plan kidnapping of baby in California