A mother and baby were reunited on Tuesday after a scary day in a kidnapping case that saw the whole Bay Area watch it unfold.
The San Jose Police Department said 3-month-old Brandon Cuellar, who was abducted on Monday, was found safe and sound.
No one breathes a sigh of relief more than Brandon’s grandmother, Victoria Mejía, who said she was grateful to God, the community and everyone who helped bring him home safely.
“I thought he wasn’t coming back,” the grandmother said. “I am grateful and grateful to you, the media, the authorities, who did such a good job, the detective who helped us, and I really thank God first.”
But questions remain as to who took it and why.
Brandon Cuellar’s grandmother, Victoria Mejía, is speaking out after her grandson was rescued from his kidnappers on Tuesday.
Several neighbors had their own security cameras which they say helped investigators locate the baby.
“I’m very proud of my police and the FBI because they didn’t take very long,” said neighbor Elva.
The 83-year-old cried with relief when she learned baby Brandon had been found safe and sound.
This abduction shook her and she said she no longer wanted her great-grandchildren or grandchildren to visit her.
“I am very confused because, who can enter your home, with a small cot to carry this child? Who can be so daring? Who can be so ugly? she says.
That’s what investigators will now try to figure out, saying that’s when the hard work of building a case begins.
It took 20 hours of investigation and a few good Samaritans to get there.
On Tuesday morning, a woman named Gloria spotted a van that looked like the suspect vehicle.
“I parked my car in the middle of the street and just looked in there and noticed a car seat,” Gloria said.
It was then that she immediately called the police. Minutes later, investigators arrived and baby Brandon was safely picked up by first responders.
“I’m just glad they found the baby because it could have been anyone’s child,” Gloria said.
San Jose police said they have three suspects in custody for questioning.
“We know there is a connection to the family, but we don’t know what that connection is and that is something that will be determined during the investigation,” SJPD Deputy Chief Paul Joseph said.
Police believe one of those in custody is the man seen in surveillance video from Monday afternoon.
At an apartment complex 10km from where the baby was found, a man carried Brandon away in a baby carrier while Brandon’s grandmother unloaded groceries.
Police now say the man brought the carrier with him, suggesting it was premeditated.
“Nobody else walks around with baby carriers like that or car seats,” neighbor Marc Arce said. “It’s the guy.”
Security footage of the abduction is from neighbor Arce’s apartment. He hopes the video he gave to the police will help provide answers.
“Trying to find something, anything I can do to help,” Arce said. “If it was my family, I hope someone would do the same, that’s what I thought.”
Police said the three people in custody will be charged by the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office on Wednesday.
Police said kidnapping would be one of the charges, but there could be others as well.