BELL GARDENS (CBSLA.com) — Orange County police announced Wednesday that they’ve aarrested a man who allegedly kidnapped a 15-year-old girl in 2004 and forced her into having his child.
Isidro Garcia, 41, was arrested in Bell Gardens earlier this week and booked on suspicion of kidnapping for rape, committing a lewd act with a minor and false imprisonment, according to the Santa Ana Police Department.
Investigators became aware of Garcia’s whereabouts after the victim, now 25 years old, reached out to her sister on Facebook, and that may have helped her work up the courage to contact police.
The victim says that in 2004 Garcia had been dating and living with the victim’s mother. The family had just immigrated from Mexico and the girl spoke little English. In June of that year, the suspect allegedly began assaulting the girl, who was 15 years old at the time.
Two months later, Garcia assaulted the mother at Jerome Park, near the family’s home. The girl ran to help her mother, at which point Garcia said her family didn’t care for her and that if she complained she’d be deported. When the girl said she had a headache, Garcia allegedly offered her five pills that rendered her unconscious. She woke up locked inside a garage in Compton.
Over the course of the next few years, Garcia allegedly kept a close watch on the teen girl, moving homes at several points to avoid getting caught. He provided her with forged identification documents and had her go by the name Laura Ortiz. He repeatedly told the victim her family had given up looking for her and repeatedly used deportation as a threat, police say.
“He changed her name – usually the middle name – date of birth, so they could get married,” according to Cpl. Anthony Bertagna, of the Santa Ana Police Department. “He had control of her life.”
Meanwhile, Garcia found the two of them work at a night cleaning service.
Police say the victim spent years being mentally and physically abused and she apparently saw no way out of her situation. When she did try to flee, Garcia would physically assault her.
In 2007, Garcia reportedly forced the victim into marriage and in 2012 he fathered her child.
The victim got in touch with police Tuesday, reportedly reaching her breaking point after Garcia beat her.
He is being held on $1 million bail.