The victim of a California kidnapping and sexual assault has been found alive after 10 years and their captor arrested, reports say.
The missing 25-year-old woman told police she was forced to marry her kidnapper and have his child. She contacted law enforcement after she decided to wish her sister 'Happy Birthday' on Facebook, police said.
Isidro Garcia, 41, of Bell Gardens, who had been living with the family at the time of the woman's disappearance, has been arrested on suspicion of kidnapping, rape and false imprisonment.
Suspect Isidro Garcia who allegedly kidnapped a 15-year-old girl in Santa Ana in 2004 then repeatedly physically and sexually assaulted her
Garcia has been dating the victim's mother, and they had lived with the two girls in in Santa Ana, Orange County.
Neighbours told the BBC they had been known locally as Thomas and Laura, and had a three-year-old daughter, Lupita.
"They were a happy family," Xochitl Castillo told the BBC. "She was not a prisoner." Another neighbour, Maribel Garcia said "Laura" was never allowed to chat for long. "He would give her that look and she would go back inside. Maybe she was afraid of him."
The police allege that Garcia had began sexually assaulting the victim in June 2010 of that year, four months after the girl arrived in the US from Mexico. Two months later he drugged the teen, drove her to Los Angeles and locked her in a garage.
Corporal Anthony Bertagna of the Santa Ana Police Department said Garcia had "brainwashed" her. “She was a 15-year-old girl in a new country,” he told KNX-AM radio station. “She’s been told by the suspect her family doesn’t want her, and this is all she’s got.”
"Over the course of the following months and years, Mr Garcia repeatedly told the victim her family had given up looking for her, and if she tried to go back to them, the family would be deported," police said in a statement, adding that the pair had moved many times to avoid detection.
"Even with the opportunity to escape, after years of physical and mental abuse, the victim saw no way out of her situation and lived a life with Garcia under sustained physical and mental abuse," police said.