Woman says she was held captive for 10 years

May 21

A woman who was 15 when she disappeared from her California home a decade ago has contacted police and told them she was kidnapped by a man who sexually assaulted her, forced her into marriage and fathered a child with her, authorities said Wednesday.

Police have arrested Isidro Garcia, 41, of Bell Gardens on suspicion of kidnapping for rape, lewd acts with a minor and false imprisonment, according tothe Santa Ana Police Department.

In 2004, when the victim was 15 and had recently arrived in the United States without legal documentation, Garcia was dating her mother and lived with the family, authorities said.

In August 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 used physical and emotional abuse to prevent the girl from fleeing, police said.

In 2007, Garcia got false identification papers for her from Mexico so he could marry her, police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said. They married at a courthouse, he said. In 2012, he fathered a child with her.

Garcia secured two jobs for them on a night cleaning crew so he could keep watch over her, authorities said. Bertagna said she tried to escape twice but was severely beaten.

The now-25-year-old woman, whose identity is not being released, first contacted authorities Monday. Police said she came forward to police after finding her sister on Facebook. She has been reunited with her mother.

Garcia has not been formally charged.

His arrest comes just over a year after three kidnapping and rape victims, who had vanished separately about a decade earlier while in their teens or early 20s, were rescued from a house in Cleveland.

Their captor, Ariel Castro, hanged himself in prison last September at the beginning of a sentence of life plus 1,000 years.

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