Vancouver police officers arrested a man Sunday suspected in a robbery and kidnapping connected to the alleged abduction of a 4-year-old girl by her mother last week.
Police arrested Erick Garcia-Valdovinos, 18, on suspicion of two counts of first-degree kidnapping and one count of first-degree robbery for his involvement in a man’s abduction, where he was tied to a chair and his car taken, and the taking of a girl in foster care by her mother.
According to the police, a passerby located Jose Orellana-Gomez in the Bagley Downs neighborhood, Thursday. Orellana-Gomez told police an acquaintance, Esmeralda Lopez-Lopez, invited him to her apartment on the premise she needed help with a ride to Centralia.
The police said Orellana-Gomez arrived to meet three unfamiliar men, who bound him to a chair. They told him they were taking his car, and demanded his credit card and PIN.
Orellana-Gomez managed to free himself and find help, police said.
While officers were searching the apartment that afternoon, a Child Protective Services worker approached to tell them that Lopez-Lopez had fled with her child during a supervised visit earlier that morning at the Vancouver Mall.
According to police, the daughter, Aranza Ochoa Lopez, has been in foster care since 2017, when she was removed from her original home. Police said her mother, Lopez-Lopez, took her during a state-supervised visit.
Detectives investigated further and found Lopez-Lopez was likely on her way to Mexico with her daughter, according to the police.
On Saturday, the police said, investigators confirmed Lopez-Lopez, her daughter, and teen girl seen with Lopez-Lopez at the mall were spotted driving Orellana-Gomez’s red Chevrolet Cobalt, Washington plate No. BLK1552.
The California Highway Patrol issued an Amber Alert notice once the vehicle Lopez-Lopez was driving was identified.
The police said Sunday evening authorities had not yet located Lopez-Lopez, and the investigation was ongoing.
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