(KRON) — The San Jose Police Department has released the identities of the three suspects charged and arrested for the kidnapping of 3-month-old Brandon Cuellar. Jose Ramon Portillo, 28, Yesenia Guadalupe Ramirez, 43, and Baldomeo Sandoval, 37, have all been charged in the crime. All three are San Jose residents.
Charges levied against the suspects include kidnapping, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, child abduction and home invasion. The trio is charged with taking 3-month-old Brandon Cuellar from his home in broad daylight Monday while his grandmother was unloading groceries.
At a media briefing on Wednesday, San Jose Police Sergeant Christian Camarillo said those charges could change and that the case is still very active.
Investigating officers got a break in the case on Tuesday after a nursing home employee recognized a minivan that had been identified in a tweet from the California Highway Patrol. The tweet was subsequently deleted, but not before the nursing home employee spotted the vehicle and tipped off law enforcement.
Despite law enforcement identifying a vehicle that may have been involved in the case, no Amber Alert was issued for the baby being taken.
“There was a tip that came in for that vehicle, we sent out the alert, but we took it down” explained Camarillo. “We were already watching that vehicle then that tip came in.”
While the family initially said they did not recognize the suspect caught on surveillance camera taking Brandon, it was later reported that the family is connected to the three suspects somehow.
Camarillo clarified that the family knew the female suspect, Guadalupe Ramirez, but it was unknown whether they knew or were connected to Portillo or Sandoval.
“The female suspect was with grandma shopping,” Camarillo said. “We don’t know the association with the other two.” Camarillo described the female suspect as a “family friend.”
Camarillo called the effort between the suspects coordinated but emphasized that there was no collaboration with the grandmother.
“I want to emphasize, grandma did the right thing here,” he said. “She thought the baby was safe in the apartment. These people coordinated efforts and took baby Brandon.”
Camarillo also said that the surveillance camera footage captured the suspect arriving at the scene with an empty baby carrier, rather than leaving the scene with baby Brandon inside.
“Obviously, he knew he was going there to take the baby I don’t know if he thought he was going to be less suspicious taking the baby carrier,” Camarillo said. Camarillo later added that he believed the department had video in its possession of the suspect leaving with the baby.
Camarillo also said there was no connection to gangs in the kidnapping, but only that officers assigned to the gang unit had been assigned to the investigation.
Baby Brandon was recovered safely on Tuesday morning about five miles from where he was taken. He was taken to a local hospital as a precaution and later reunited with his mother.
The three suspects will make their initial appearance in court on Thursday. Law enforcement has yet to publicly reveal a motive in the crime.