An astonishing story of human slavery, coercion and abuse emerged today as police revealed that a woman allegedly kidnapped as a teen and held for 10 years in the Los Angeles area walked away and came forward to authorities.
The suspect, 41-year-old Isidro Garcia of Bell Gardens, was the boyfriend of the victim's mother before he allegedly kidnapped the then-15-year-old in August of 2004, Santa Ana police said.
He married his victim in 2007, got her pregnant and had a child with her in 2012, and told her that her family didn't want her back and that if she went home her loved ones would be deported, authorities allege:
The victim's mother said she herself was abused by the suspect, who lived with her at the time, and that she "suspected Garcia of sexually abusing her daughter" before she was kidnapped, Santa Ana cops said in a statement.
Yesterday the now-25-year-old victim came forward to police, they said.
Authorities allege that the suspect drugged her on the day he kidnapped her from her home in the 800 block of Fairview Avenue in Santa Ana before he put her in a Compton garage.
The two moved around a lot, allegedly to avoid detection, and Garcia continued to physically and sexually abuse the woman, cops said. We called Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna for details on some of the other locales but we were unable to get through.
Garcia also allegedly obtained false identification documents for his victim, cops alleged.
At one point the suspect got her a job working at a nighttime cleaning service, Santa Ana police said. Sometimes she was physically free to go, the department said in a statement, but she was also allegedly coerced and under constant threat:
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
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.
The man's crime fell apart when the victim contacted her sister on Facebook, and the sister encouraged her to walk away and tell authorities her story, police said.
Garcia was booked on suspicion of kidnapping for rape, lewd acts with a minor and false imprisonment, according to Santa Ana cops.