A Southern California woman is in custody today after allegedly sneaking into a house in Knightsen in unincorporated Contra Costa County and abducting her 4-month-old granddaughter, a sheriff’s captain said today. Ramy Gallego’s parents put her to bed at about 10 p.m. Saturday. When her mother went to check on her at about 6 a.m. Sunday, she was gone.
Investigators believe that 58-year-old Ericka Gallego, Ramy’s paternal grandmother, took a bus and a taxi from El Monte, Calif., to Knightsen and, while Ramy’s parents were sleeping, snuck into their home in the 1500 block of Tule Lane and snatched the baby from her bassinet, sheriff’s Capt. Steve Warne said. Ericka Gallego then allegedly called another taxi and had the driver take her and the baby back to Southern California, where she took Ramy to her house, Warne said.
Meanwhile, more than 100 people from the sheriff’s office and a volunteer search-and-rescue team began looking for Ramy. According to Warne, the child’s parents had never given Ericka Gallego permission to take the baby and had no reason to believe she had abducted her.
At about 10:30 p.m., El Monte police called the sheriff’s office and told them an acquaintance of the grandmother had reported that Ericka Gallego was believed to have the baby. El Monte police responded to the call and found Ericka Gallego with the child. They arrested Gallego and placed Ramy in protective custody, Warne said.
Early this morning, four detectives from the sheriff’s office went to El Monte where they confirmed that the baby was Ramy and that she was in good health. They also interviewed Gallego, but Warne said investigators were not releasing details about why she allegedly took the baby.
Gallego is being held in Los Angeles County Jail on suspicion of kidnapping. Her bail has been set at $150,000. Ramy’s mother went to El Monte to pick up her child and was on her way home this afternoon, Warne said. “Everybody’s very happy that Ramy came back safely to her parents,” Warne said. He also said that while the sheriff’s office believes the kidnapping was a criminal act, “there’s no indication that the grandmother intended to harm the child. The child was in good health.”
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