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Kidnap victim found after 10 yrs

A woman who was 15 when she disappeared 10 years ago from her California home contacted police and told them she was held against her will for years, sexually assaulted repeatedly and had a child with her captor, authorities said Wednesday.

Police have arrested Isidro Garcia, 41, on suspicion of kidnapping for rape, lewd acts with a minor and false imprisonment, according to a statement from the Santa Ana Police Department.

In 2004, when the victim was 15, Garcia was dating her mother and lived with the family, authorities said. Her mother suspected that he was sexually abusing her daughter, police said. In June 2004, Garcia assaulted the mother, drugged the girl and then fled with her to a house in Compton, locking her in a garage, the statement said.

Garcia provided the girl with false identification and used physical and emotional abuse to prevent her from fleeing, police said. Garcia repeatedly told the victim her family had given up looking for her, and they moved frequently to avoid being found, the statement said.

Police say Garcia forced her into marriage in 2007 and they had a child in 2012. Garcia secured two jobs for them on a night cleaning crew so he could keep watch over her, police said.

The woman, now 25, came forward to police after finding her sister on Facebook and told her story to officers on Tuesday, according to the police statement.

It wasn't clear if Garcia, who has not been formally charged, had an attorney. The case has been presented to the Orange County district attorney's office for consideration.

The woman's escape comes almost exactly a year after three women who were held captive, raped and beaten for about a decade in a house in Cleveland also escaped. Their captor, Ariel Castro, killed himself in prison last summer.

The women, who spoke publicly on the anniversary of their escape earlier this month, said they have spent their first year of freedom learning to drive, taking boxing lessons and enjoying time with their families.

The Canadian Press


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