A mother and her baby were reunited Tuesday after a scary day apart in a kidnapping case that had the entire Bay Area watching it unfold.
The San Jose Police Department said 3-month-old Brandon Cuellar, who was kidnapped Monday, was found unharmed.
No one is breathing more of a sigh of relief than Brandon’s grandmother, Victoria Mejía who said she’s thankful to God, the community and everyone who helped get him home safely.
“I thought he wasn’t going to come back,” said the grandmother. “I am thankful and grateful for you, the media, authorities, who did such a great job, the detective who helped us, and really thanking God first.”
But questions remain about who took him and why.
Several neighbors had their own security cameras which they believe helped investigators track down the baby.
“I am very proud of my police force and FBI, because they didn’t take very long,” said neighbor Elva.
The 83-year-old cried tears of relief when she learned baby Brandon was found unharmed.
This kidnapping has her shaken and she said she doesn’t want her great grandkids or grandkids visiting her anymore.
“I am very confused because, who can come into your home, with a little baby bed to carry this child out? Who can be so daring? Who can be so ugly?” she said.
That’s what investigators will now be trying to figure out, saying this is when the hard work of putting a case together begins.
It took a 20-hour investigation and some Good Samaritans to get there.
On Tuesday morning, a woman named Gloria spotted a van that looked like the suspect vehicle.
“I pulled my car over in the middle of the street and I just looked in there and I noticed a car seat,” said Gloria.
That’s when she called the police right away. Minutes later, investigators arrived and baby Brandon was safely taken in by first responders.
“Just glad they found the baby because it could have been anyone’s child,” said Gloria.
San Jose police said they have three suspects in custody for questioning.
“We know there is some connection to the family but we don’t know what that connection is and that’s something that will be determined in the course of the investigation,” said SJPD Assistant Chief Paul Joseph.
Police believe one of the people in custody is the man seen in surveillance video from Monday afternoon.
At an apartment complex 6 miles away from where the baby was found, a man brought Brandon away in a baby carrier while Brandon’s grandmother unloads groceries.
Police are now saying the man brought the baby carrier with him, suggesting this was premeditated.
“Nobody else walks around with baby carriers like that or car seats,” said neighbor Marc Arce. “That’s the guy.”
The security footage of the kidnapping came from neighbor Arce’s apartment. He hopes the video he handed over to police and helps bring answers.
“Trying to find something, anything I can do to help out,” said Arce. “If it was my family, I would hope somebody would do the same is what I was thinking.”
Police said the three people in custody will be charged by the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office Wednesday.
Police said that kidnapping will be one of the charges but there could be others as well.
Source: NBC Bay Area