4, Including 3 Teens, Arrested After Allegedly Kidnapping 3-Year-Old Outside Daycare

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
March 5, 2019US News
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4, Including 3 Teens, Arrested After Allegedly Kidnapping 3-Year-Old Outside Daycare
Four people were arrested for allegedly kidnapping a 3-year-old boy after assaulting his grandfather. (Friendswood Police Department)

Four people, including three teenagers, were arrested and charged after police said they attacked a grandfather before abducting his 3-year-old grandson outside a Texas daycare.

Chantay Solano Saldana, 22; Yahaira Arali Cornejo, 19; David Escobar, 19; and Alexandro Solano, 19, were arrested by Friendswood police officers.

One of the suspects is the boy’s mother, reported KTRK, but it isn’t clear whether it’s Cornejo or Saldana.

The suspects waited for the grandfather in the parking lot of the daycare and after the elderly man exited his vehicle, they assaulted him. Police said the child was “ripped from his arms.”

The suspects then took off in a Jeep Wrangler.

The vehicle, the suspects, and the child were later found and arrests were made. The child was then returned home safely.

Bonds for all four suspects were set at $5,000.

Girls Who Went Missing on Way to Bus Stop Found Safe

Two young girls who recently went missing on the way to their bus stop were found safe.

Mary Tran Le, 13, and Tianny Granja, 12, disappeared while walking to the stop in the Wilcrest Park neighborhood of Houston on Feb. 26.

Family members said they were worried that the girls are participating in the so-called 48-hour challenge, where children try to go into hiding for 48 hours, officials told KTRK on Feb. 28.

The girls were found safe late Thursday when an anonymous woman saw them after seeing news coverage of them missing.

The woman convinced the girls to get into her car and tell her where they lived, and she dropped them off at one of the houses just after 9 p.m., private investigators told KHOU.

The woman said she did not want to deal with the police and took off after dropping the girls off.

Investigators believe the girls ran away, though a student at Owens Middle School, where they’re both in sixth grade, gave a note to an administrator that said the girls had been abducted, according to Tianny’s mother.

Police declined to comment on the note.

missing houston girls found safe
Mary Tran Le, 13, and Tianny Granja, 12, disappeared while walking to the stop in the Wilcrest Park neighborhood of Houston on Feb. 26, 2019. They were found safe two days later. (Houston Police Department)

Kidnapping

The number of reported missing children significantly decreased in recent years, according to a report by the Department of Justice (pdf) in 2017. Reported missing children dropped from 6.5 per 1,000 children in 1999 to 3.1 per 1,000 in 2013.

Missing children typically fall into five categories: kidnapped by a family member, abducted by a nonfamily perpetrator, runaways, those who got lost, stranded, or injured, or those who went missing due to benign reasons, such as misunderstandings, according to the report researchers.

Department of Justice researchers said in a separate report (pdf) published in 2016 that there were an estimated 105 children nationwide that were victims of stereotypical kidnappings, a number that was virtually the same as 1997.

“Most kidnappings involved the use of force or threats, and about three in five victims were sexually assaulted, abused, or exploited, the researchers said.

Stereotypical kidnappings are defined as abductions in which a slight acquaintance or stranger moves a child at least 20 feet or holds the child at least 1 hour. Most victims were girls aged 12 to 17 and most perpetrators were men aged 18 to 35.

police car siren
A police car in a file photo. (Mira Oberman/AFP/Getty Images)

Parental Kidnapping

According to the Polly Klaas Foundation, approximately 200,000 children are kidnapped each year by a family member.

Child custody experts say that people kidnap their own children to force a reconciliation or continued interaction with the other, left-behind parent; to spite or punish the other parent; from fear of losing custody or visitation rights.

In rare cases, the kidnapping may occur to protect a child from a parent who is believed to be abusing the child.

Common warnings signs include the other parent threatening abduction, suspected abuse, or paranoid delusion.

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