Kidnapped California baby found, 3 suspects detained

Posted at 7:12 PM, April 26, 2022 and last updated 7:49 PM, July 14, 2023

By OLGA R. RODRIGUEZ Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A 3-month-old baby who was kidnapped from his San Francisco Bay Area home was found Tuesday and three suspects were detained, police said.

The baby, Brandon Cuellar, was unharmed but was taken to a hospital as a precaution, San Jose Police Department officials said during a news conference.

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)

“This incident is a parents’ worst nightmare. We are fortunate it resulted in a positive outcome,” San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata said, declining to release details on where the baby was found or the identities of the three people who were detained.

The child was taken Monday from his apartment in San Jose by a man who was seen on video walking away with the baby in a carrier.

Police believe they have apprehended the man in the video, who was one of the three taken into custody, said San Jose Assistant Police Chief Paul Joseph.

Also detained was a woman who was with the child’s grandmother before the abduction, San Jose Police spokesman Sgt. Christian Camarillo told reporters.

“This was a person who was with the grandmother yesterday when they went shopping, she was present at the apartment complex when this happened,” he said. “There have been some inconsistencies with what she has told us. Obviously, drawing our attention to what she knows about this.”

Joseph did not provide details about the third suspect. Initial investigations indicated the abductors had a link to the family, he said.
“We know that there is some connection to the family, but we don’t know exactly what that connection is,” Joseph said.

On Monday, police released a video showing the man walking calmly down the sidewalk holding the baby carrier covered by a white blanket.
Camarillo told reporters Monday that the kidnapping was reported by the baby’s grandmother.

“According to the grandmother, she came home to this apartment. … She took the baby in the apartment, went downstairs to unload some groceries,” Camarillo said. “In that short amount of time someone entered the apartment … and left with the baby.”

Camarillo said the baby’s mother was at work when he was abducted.
“Dad right now is out of the picture. He is incarcerated. I don’t know, you know, whether that is going to play into this, but obviously we are going to talk to him soon,” Camarillo said.