FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --Fresno County Sheriff's detectives have connected the dots in a troubling kidnapping last month. The Sheriff said the mastermind was no stranger to the young victim or her family. Deputies arrested 40-year-old Sandra Garcia on charges of conspiracy to commit kidnapping. They believe she is the alleged ringleader who orchestrated the crime-- two of her relatives were also arrested.
Investigators said Garcia was dating the victim's father. She lived with him and his daughters when detectives began zeroing in on her. Investigators said Garcia moved into her boyfriend's upscale home in Fresno County last year. At the time, his two daughters lived with their mother in Sweden. But during the summer they moved back to the Central Valley to live with their dad and Garcia. "The motive for this particular case was to have the two little girls that lived in the house with their dad, to move back to Sweden to live with the mother. Which would leave the girlfriend and her family there with the dad," said Margaret Mims, Fresno County Sheriff.
A restraining order, just granted, describes the relationship between Garcia and her now ex-boyfriend. He wrote: "Our backgrounds were different and there were difficulties at times, and I thought it was best for Sandra to move out."
After he gave her a date to leave his daughter was kidnapped in a movie type plot. Investigators said the 13-year-old stepped off her school bus last month to find the suspects were waiting at her doorstep. Sheriff Mims said the girl was forced into the trunk of the car and driven to a remote location where she was tied up, beaten, and kicked. Detectives believe Garcia's son--18-year-old Mark Anthony Roque-- and her cousin-- 40-year-old Miguel Carriedo-- also took part in the crime. "There were certain things the kidnappers knew that hadn't been divulged to very many people-- just by their statements, and that led us into the particular direction where we went," said Sheriff Mims.
Deputies arrested all three. Garcia bailed out but Roque and Carriedo were released after charges were not filed by the District Attorney's Office. The Sheriff said she is waiting for forensic test results to return before resubmitting the case. "We believe we're going to be able to solve this case very quickly," said Sheriff Mims.
The victim's father and mother issued a statement to Action News saying in part: "we remain confident that the people responsible for this crime against our child will be held accountable."
Detectives are asking anyone who the suspects have talked to about the crime to come forward.
Three additional suspects still remain unidentified.