SAN JOSE, Calif. - The Santa Clara County District Attorney on Thursday declined to charge one of three suspects arrested for allegedly kidnapping a baby boy while charging the other two on kidnap and burglary charges.
Without explaining why, the DA decided not to charge Baldomeo Sandoval, 37, with any crime, though he was arrested following the kidnap – and safe return – of baby Brandon Cuellar from inside his grandmother's apartment two days earlier.
Relatives told two Spanish TV stations that Sandoval is married to the main suspect, Yesenia Guadalupe Ramirez, 43, who police said hatched the plan to take baby Brandon Monday afternoon from the apartment complex on Elm Street in San Jose.
Prosecutors allege that Ramirez obtained a car seat earlier in the month and then provided a getaway car to Jose Roman Portillo, 28, who was seen on surveillance video entering the grandmother's apartment with a baby carrier and then exiting with a baby.
SAN JOSE, CA - April 28: Jose Roman Portillo, one of two suspects charged in connection with the kidnapping of a three-month-old baby in San Jose, appears for his arraignment hearing at the Santa Clara County Hall of Justice on Thursday, April 28, 20
Prosecutors allege that Portillo – whose relationship to Ramirez had not been made clear – kept baby Brandon at his home.
Portillo also bought items necessary to take care of the baby, including diapers and formula, between April 20 and April 25, prosecutors said.
No motive was spelled out in the prosecutor's charging documents.
But the baby's mother told Univision and Telemundo that Ramirez had met Brandon's grandmother at church and "became obsessed with the baby."
A good Samaritan spotted Ramirez's van on Tuesday morning across the street from Valley Medical Center and called police.
Officers soon retrieved the baby from Portillo's home, near the van, and returned the baby to his mother, who had been cleaning homes when her son was taken.
Ramirez and Portillo are expected on Thursday afternoon to be formally charged.
According to the Santa Clara County Sheriff, the defendants are being represented by the public defender and declined to be interviewed. They are being held without bail.
"The kidnapping of Baby Brandon sent a shudder through our whole community, not just us parents," said District Attorney Jeff Rosen said.
Rosen said neither of the suspects charged in the case have any infant children of their own.
SAN JOSE, CA - April 28: Jose Roman Portillo, center, one of two suspects charged in connection with the kidnapping of a three-month-old baby in San Jose, appears with attorney Karri Iyama for his arraignment hearing at the Santa Clara County Hall of
SAN JOSE, CA - April 28: Yesenia Guadalupe Ramirez, center, one of two suspects charged in connection with the kidnapping of a three-month-old baby in San Jose, appears with attorney Cody Salfen for her arraignment hearing at the Santa Clara County H
Here's a breakdown of the charges:
COUNT 1: Conspiracy to Commit Felony
Complaint says there are eight overt acts as part of count 1.
Yesenia Ramirez was with Brandon prior to the kidnapping. She obtained a car seat and gave that and a van to Jose Roman Portillo. Complaint also says Portillo obtained items necessary to care for the baby including diapers and formula. The complaint alleges Portillo went to the apartment where Brandon was located, took him and left the scene. Portillo took Brandon to his home in the van. Complaint says Portillo kept Brandon at his home where Brandon was found the after the kidnapping.
COUNT 2: Kidnapping Child under 14 within county or to another county, state or country—felony
Felony committed by Jose Roman Portillo and Yesenia Guadalupe Ramirez who did forcibly and by any means instilling fear, steal, take, hold and detain three-month-old Brandon and then carried him into another part of Santa Clara County.
COUNT 3: First degree burglary- entering with intent to commit a felony
Jose Roman Portillo and Yesenia Guadalupe Ramirez entered a home with the intent to kidnap Brandon.