Kidnapped California baby found alive, police say


SAN JOSE, Calif. (NewsNation) — The 3-month-old infant snatched from his San Francisco Bay Area home was found Tuesday.

Police said on Twitter that baby Brandon Cuellar has been located alive, and three people are in custody. All three are said to be connected to the family, something authorities had suspected from the start.

Cuellar was recovered from inside a white van and taken to a local hospital for evaluation, police said.

“We followed every lead we had, we used information from witnesses, information from video surveillance … and ultimately, we were able to find the baby,” said Paul Joseph, assistant chief of the San Jose Police Department.

Video and photo evidence previously released by investigators shows a man walking through a neighborhood while holding a black baby carrier covered in a white blanket. Police say the man entered a home on Elm Street and grabbed Cuellar while his grandmother was unpacking groceries from a car.

“We do believe this was planned; it wasn’t some random act,” Camarillo said. “So the baby carrier that you see in the video, it’s not the family’s baby carrier.”

Camarillo said the baby’s mother was at work when the kidnapping happened. His dad is incarcerated.

One woman was detained as a “person of interest” after what authorities said were “inconsistencies in her statements to police.” The woman has not been identified. She was with Cuellar’s grandmother before the infant was abducted, police said.

“She was present at the apartment complex when this happened,” Camarillo told reporters.

Neighbors were relieved at Cuellar’s return.

“Thank God he’s found and in such a fast amount of time, too,” said Kassandra Ramirez, one of the family’s neighbors.

Police are not releasing any further details about the people in custody or their motives. Charges are pending but they will likely include kidnapping.

“A stranger child abduction is an extraordinarily rare occurrence in this country,” said Scott Shelby, a special agent with the FBI. “I hope that is something we can all take comfort in.”

This story is developing. Refresh for updates.

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