SANTA CLARITA (CBSLA.com) — Officials said Friday that some brave and selfless neighbors and quick-thinking deputies made all the difference for a 2-year-old girl they believe was snatched Monday from her family’s mobile home.
KCAL9’s Jeff Nguyen said the victim’s name is Yesly Jimenez.
She was home with her brother, sister and grandfather Monday evening when, officials say, Thomas Dillingham, 40, broke into their unit and demanded the little girl.
The child’s brother says Dillingham threatened to beat up their grandfather if he didn’t hand her over. The family also says Dillingham pulled a knife on the grandfather.
Sky9 was over the Agua Dulce mobile-home park after neighbors tailed Dillingham into his home. They quickly called 911.
When deputies got there, Dillingham surrendered without a fight.
They say Yesly was found inside the suspect’s bedroom but wasn’t harmed.
Her mother says she still might have been traumatized.
“It’s been a little bit weird. She’s not the same anymore. She’s just really quiet. She doesn’t smile that much anymore. So, I think she’s a little bit traumatized right now,” said Crystal Jimenez.
The Sheriff’s Department says a brave neighbor also went into Dillingham’s home to help rescue the girl.
Yesly’s family says Dillingham was living in the home with his parents. The family said Dillingham’s parents apologized to them for the little girl’s ordeal.
Neighbors said Dillingham’s parents moved the day after their son’s arrest.
Authorities said Dillingham has been charged with several counts, including kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon.
He’s being held without bail.