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Police on Wednesday identified three suspects arrested in the kidnapping of a 3-month-old baby in San Jose this week.
The three suspects are José Román Portillo, 28; Yesenia Guadalupe Ramirez, 43; and Baldomeo Sandoval, 37 years old. All three are San Jose residents, police said.
All three suspects are being held in the county jail without bond and are due in court Thursday at noon. They are currently facing charges of kidnapping, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, child abduction, and trespassing.
“Those charges may change as this investigation progresses,” said San Jose Police Sgt. Christian Camarillo said. “We don’t know if all three will keep these four charges. There is still a lot of investigative work to be done.”
The motive for the kidnapping is still under investigation, Camarillo said.
The preliminary investigation revealed that Portillo illegally entered the residence and abducted the 3-month-old baby, identified as Brandon Cuellar, while his grandmother was unloading groceries from the car outside of him, police said. Portillo is the man seen on surveillance footage with a child safety seat in hand.
Camarillo clarified Wednesday that surveillance footage showed Portillo heading to the residence, not leaving with the baby.
“It’s a clear indication that this was planned and premeditated,” Camarillo said. “They had a plan that they executed that day.”
It was not immediately known how long the suspects had been planning the kidnapping.
“Whatever they planned, they momentarily succeeded, and then our people sprang into action and we brought baby Brandon home,” Camarillo said.
Detectives learned that before the kidnapping, Ramirez, described by police as a family friend, had driven Brandon and his grandmother to run errands, police said. She was detained as a person of interest in the case because her statement changed several times during the interview process, according to police.
Police believe Ramírez was in contact with Portillo.
“We don’t know how long that communication lasted,” Camarillo said.
Sandoval was identified as an additional suspect and was also detained and interviewed. Camarillo said preliminary information indicates that he “had some role in this kidnapping.”
Based on his statements and evidence obtained during the investigation, detectives arrested both Ramirez and Sandoval, police said.
Brandon was found Tuesday at a residence where Portillo lived, near the Regional Medical Center in San Jose, about 20 hours after he was taken away. Brandon was reunited with his mother hours later.
Camarillo said Brandon “looked happy” and seemed to be “in a good mood.” He added that Brandon’s mother was “very, very relieved.”
“Anybody who’s a parent, if she has a kid, you can imagine how mom felt when she got Brandon back,” Camarillo said.
Anyone with information about the kidnapping case or the suspects is asked to call 408-277-4166.