In California, a mother and her adult son are on trial for allegedly conspiring to ki*dnap a man’s daughter when she was 13 years old in order to harm him indirectly.
In connection with the teen’s ki*dnapping in February 2016, Sandra Garcia, 48, and her son Mark Anthony Roque, 25, are accused of a number of felonies. In Fresno County, their trial got underway in late September. Two additional men, one of whom is Garcia’s son, have also been accused.
Last month, the victim testified about her attackers and the terrifying moment they approached her front door, tied her up, taped her eyes shut, and threw her into the trunk of a car. This happened just after she got off the school bus and before she entered her house.
The victim, now in her 20s, testified in court on Monday that she had been ki*dnapped, stripped naked, assaulted se*xually with a stick, and then tied to a tree for hours outside of Clovis in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. She broke free from the yellow rope that was holding her and walked more than a mile before coming across a homeowner who dialled the sheriff.
According to a press release from the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, “detectives learned during the investigation that this cri*me was not a random act.” “Garcia, who was the victim’s father’s girlfriend, had planned to abduct the teen with the other men,” said the police.
Garcia’s cousin Miguel Carriedo, 47, was also charged. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit a cri*me and torture, and is now a state’s witness. Brandon Roque, 26, the other son of Garcia, entered a no contest plea to conspiracy to commit a cri*me.
Garcia allegedly started the ki*dnapping after her ex-boyfriend Johan Gidstedt ejected her from his house, according to the prosecution. The goal was to frighten Gidstedt’s daughters, who were 10 and 13 at the time, to the point where they begged to return to their mother’s home in Sweden. At that point, the defendant allegedly figured she would be back in Gidstedt’s good graces.
Garcia, however, was a suspect from the beginning due to a friend.
At the time of the ki*dnapping, Gidstedt was away. Therese Maria Knutsson, a friend of his, was asked to go support Garcia.
In testimony from September, Knutsson reportedly said of Garcia and her family, “They were huddled in little groups like whispering amongst each other,” according to local ABC affiliate KFSN. “I just had a very strange feeling. She was more preoccupied with her own needs.
In 2016, Garcia and Roque were detained and charged.
Law enforcement gave a testimony about the preliminary investigation on Monday, and it did not reflect well on Garcia.
According to FCSO Lt. Jeff Kertson, speaking to KFSN, “She was not happy, raising her voice, demanding her phone back, and ultimately she ended up storming out of the front doors of the lobby.”
On Monday, the victim’s younger sister also gave a testimony. She gave the jury a timeline of how her father’s relationship with the defendant started to deteriorate as well as a possible motivation.
According to the TV station, the girl, now 19 years old, explained why the relationship ended: “Towards the end of 2015, he felt like we weren’t really happy in the relationship they were having.”
According to The Modesto Bee, the victim’s sister also claimed that she skipped school on the relevant day because she felt ill. She claimed that as a result of the setback, Garcia made her accompany her to a doctor’s appointment. The younger sister reported that they arrived home that day around 4:00 p.m.
The younger sister testified that as soon as her sister’s absence became out of character, she started to worry and frantically searched for her. According to reports, Garcia just said the teen would return home soon.
Her sister said, “She was really calm, and it made me sick to my stomach.” She was simply using her phone while seated on the couch.