GARDENA (CBSLA.com) — A 36-year-old man remained in custody Thursday on suspicion of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a 2-year-old girl.
The Gardena Police Department announced the arrest of Michael David Ikeler, of Torrance, on Wednesday.
Ikeler was taken into custody on April 9, however, officers explained they held off on announcing his arrest to confirm an ironclad case against him.
He is accused of circling a car wash, located in the 14900 block of Western Avenue in Gardena, and abducting the young victim when she walked away from her family.
Almost three hours after the victim was reported missing, deputies located the young girl in a parking lot in the City of Cudahy.
Paramedics transported the child to a hospital for treatment where she was later reunited with her family.
Authorities explained security video captured his vehicle, a white 4-door Nissan Altima with tinted windows, and three days later police received a tip from a neighbor that subsequently led to his arrest.
According to police, Ikeler altered the look of his vehicle following the crime, however, DNA evidence linked him to the incident.
He has pleaded not guilty to multiple counts of sexual assault on a child and kidnapping.
Ikeler has previously been arrested in Northern California and Arizona, but not for crimes involving children, authorities added.