Kidnapped baby found in San Jose, 3 suspects in custody: police
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A three-month-old baby who was kidnapped from San Jose was found on Tuesday and three suspects were taken into custody, police said.
"This is every parent's worst nightmare," San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata said at a news conference, adding that he was glad this kidnapping had a "positive outcome."
The discovery at about 9:30 a.m. capped about 20 hours of an intense hunt to find missing Brandon Cuellar, who was taken from an apartment complex on Monday around 1 p.m. at Elm and McKendrie streets by a man who appeared to whisk him away in a baby carrier.
Police said that Brandon was taken to a hospital for precautionary measures.
Authorities confirmed to KTVU late Tuesday afternoon that the infant was reunited with his mother.
Police did not immediately disclose how Brandon was found.
But witness Chris Martinez told KTVU that his co-worker at Canyon Springs Post Acute Care, across from Valley Medical Center, spotted a van that authorities had released a photo of – and then deleted – earlier on Tuesday morning as a possible suspect getaway car.
San Jose police later said that information wasn't ready for public consumption and the CHP took down the photo. It's unclear why and San Jose police wouldn't discuss the issue.
Still, the image of the Nissan Quest with a white sticker is what Martinez said led his co-worker to call 911 after he had spotted a baby seat inside the vehicle, parked at Mather Drive and N. Jackson Avenue. The van normally isn't parked there.
Police soon arrived and Brandon was spotted in KNTV video of being loaded into an ambulance. The baby appeared alert with his eyes wide open.
Martinez was thrilled. He said he has five kids and 12 grandchildren of his own.
"There was overwhelming joy here at our facility," he said.
He added that he saw a male suspect get out of the car and the baby was in "good spirits" and appeared unharmed.
Police ended up having at least two other vehicles towed away, including a white sedan parked nearby the van and a blue Nissan Pathfinder with Georgia license plates, which was found in the baby's neighborhood.
Police did not immediately identify the three suspects, but they believe the suspects are connected in some way to the family of the boy.
"We know that there’s some connection to the family. But we don’t know exactly what that connection is. And that’s something that will be determined through the course of the investigation," said San Jose Assistant Police Chief Paul Joseph.
Shortly before Brandon was found, San Jose police said they had identified a person of interest in connection to the abduction and that she had provided "inconsistent" statements to authorities.
The unidentified woman was with Brandon's grandmother who was unloading groceries when Brandon was taken from inside the apartment complex, police said.
The woman has not been charged with any crime at this point, Camarillo said, but she is someone police are "really focused on," as she allegedly changed her story several times.
"She knows more than she's telling us," Camarillo said.
Aside from the man and the woman, it's unclear who the third person in custody was.
WATCH: Video of kidnapper walking away with 3-month old boy in San Jose
Brandon's family has been in a panic ever since he was taken.
They were too shellshocked to speak publicly on Tuesday, police said.
The grandmother had been watching her grandson when his mother was at work. The mother has been cooperating with police.
Camarillo said the father is out of the picture and is incarcerated. He would not provide any more information about the father.
In addition, Camarillo said that the man who was seen on surveillance video taking the baby away showed up to the grandmother's apartment with a baby carrier.
"This was planned," Camarillo said. "This was not random."
San Jose police have identified the baby as 3-month old Brandon Cuellar.
A man is seen taking a baby from San Jose. April 25, 2022