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Three In Custody After Police Rescue Baby Kidnapped In Broad Daylight In San Jose

Brandon Cuellar, the 3-month-old who was snatched out of a bedroom in his grandmother's apartment in San Jose, was rescued by police the following day and three suspects were placed into custody.

By Megan Carpentier
Missing Baby Brandon Cuellar

Police in northern California on Tuesday found the infant abducted from an apartment in broad daylight on Monday and arrested three suspects in the case.

Brandon Cuellar is just 3 months old, and was in the care of his grandmother on Monday around 1:00 p.m. when a man walked into her apartment and then out with him.

"According to grandmother, she came home to this apartment located in the 1000 block of Elm Street, she took the baby in the apartment, went downstairs to unload some groceries," San Jose Police Sgt. Christian Camarillo said in a press conference on Monday evening. "In that short amount of time, someone entered the apartment… and this person left with the baby."

In a Tuesday morning press conference, Camarillo revealed that there was another person with Brandon's grandmother at the time of his abduction.

"That person has changed their story a couple of times, a lot of inconsistencies," he said.

He also revealed that the person who kidnapped Brandon had brought his own baby carrier to the abduction.

Shortly thereafter, San Jose police confirmed that Brandon had been located and taken to a hospital for observation. Around 30 minutes later, police said that three suspects in the case had been taken into custody. Camarilo confirmed at a late morning press conference that one of the suspects was the woman who had been with Brandon's grandmother at the time of his abduction.

San Jose Assistant Police Chief Paul Joseph explained at that press conference that the investigation was ongoing and charges against the three would be determined in conjunction with the district attorney's office. He declined to identify any of the arrested individuals other than to confirm that one of them was believed to be the man spotted in surveillance video released to the public on Monday.

Brandon's mother and grandmother had both told police that they didn't recognize the man.

Bay Area NBC affiliate KNTV reported that Brandon was recovered after an employee at an adult care facility named Gloria called in a suspicious van with a baby carrier in the back, after which Brandon was found in a nearby townhome. Police were unable to confirm on Tuesday morning whether Gloria's tip was, in fact, what led them to Brandon.

On Tuesday morning, police had confirmed to KNTV that they believed a Grey Nissan Pathfinder towed from near the scene of the kidnapping overnight was related to the case.

Brandon's father is currently incarcerated, and Camarillo had called him "out of the picture," but declined to state the charges or where he was currently serving time. Police did not indicate a belief he was involved in the abduction.

Brandon, police said, had been wearing a long-sleeved white onesie with dinosaurs on it when he was abducted, and the man thought to have taken him appeared to be transporting him in a black baby carrier with a blue blanket. In video of Brandon after his rescue obtained by KNTV, it's unclear whether he was still wearing the same onesie, though he appeared to be quite alert.

A neighbor from Brandon's building, Laura Torres, told the San Jose Mercury-News on Monday that she'd seen a suspicious man who she didn't recognize loitering outside the building on Sunday night wearing a gray baseball cap.

"He was suspicious," she told the paper, noting that he'd asked to come into her apartment to charge his phone. When she declined, she said he walked into an adjacent building.

Other neighbors expressed fear after the abduction.

"I need to pay attention to my kids," Isabel Ontiberos told Bay Area Fox affiliate KTVU. "She like to run outside and play outside. Now I have to pay attention more." 

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