Woman arrested in baby kidnapping met family at church

Apr 28, 2022, 1:46 PM | Updated: 5:10 pm

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — The mother of a 3-month-old baby kidnapped from their San Francisco Bay Area 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, 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 with KTST-TV, a Telemundo affiliate.

Ramirez, 43, was arrested in the kidnapping of Brandon Cuellar along with Baldomeo Sandoval and Jose Portillo, who police said entered the family’s second-floor San Jose apartment on Monday and took the baby while his grandmother unloaded groceries.

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.

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, 28, 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, a Univision affiliate.

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 told Telemundo 48.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


(Facebook Photo/Superior Court of Arizona in Yavapai County)...
Associated Press

Arizona judge has cases reassigned following DUI arrest

The Arizona Supreme Court has ruled that all cases currently assigned to a Yavapai County Superior Court judge recently arrested on suspicion of extreme DUI will be reassigned to other judges.
2 days ago
Haitian migrant Gerson Solay, 28, carries his daughter, Bianca, as he and his family cross into Can...
Associated Press

US, Canada to end loophole that allows asylum-seekers to move between countries

President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday announced a plan to close a loophole to an immigration agreement.
5 days ago
Expert skateboarder Di'Orr Greenwood, an artist born and raised in the Navajo Nation in Arizona and...
Associated Press

Indigenous skateboard art featured on new stamps unveiled at Phoenix skate park

The Postal Service unveiled the “Art of the Skateboard" stamps at a Phoenix skate park, featuring designs from Indigenous artists.
5 days ago
(Facebook Photo/City of San Luis, Arizona)...
Associated Press

San Luis authorities receive complaints about 911 calls going across border

Authorities in San Luis say they are receiving more complaints about 911 calls mistakenly going across the border.
11 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Associated Press

Daylight saving time begins in most of US this weekend

No time change is observed in Hawaii, most of Arizona, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Marianas.
19 days ago
(Photo: OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center)...
Sponsored Content by OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center

Here's what you need to know about OCD and where to find help

It's fair to say that most people know what obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders generally are, but there's a lot more information than meets the eye about a mental health diagnosis that affects about one in every 100 adults in the United States.

Sponsored Articles

(Desert Institute for Spine Care in Arizona Photo)...
Desert Institute for Spine Care in Arizona

5 common causes for chronic neck pain

Neck pain can debilitate one’s daily routine, yet 80% of people experience it in their lives and 20%-50% deal with it annually.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Company looking for oldest air conditioner and wants to reward homeowner with new one

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.
(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
Woman arrested in baby kidnapping met family at church