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California Police Identify Two People Allegedly Behind Infant Boy’s Kidnapping

Booking photo of Jose Roman Portillo, and Yesenia Guadalupe Ramirez.

Jose Roman Portillo, and Yesenia Guadalupe Ramirez.

Update – April 29, 3:47 p.m.: Police have announced that they released co-defendant Baldomeo Sandoval, and that “he will not be facing charges at this time.” The Santa Clara County Office of the District Attorney only announced formal charges on Thursday, April 28 against Jose Roman Portillo, and Yesenia Guadalupe Ramirez.

Law&Crime reached out to San Jose police for clarity on whether the new information was completely exculpatory for Sandoval, and what that evidence is.

“New details were revealed that led to charges not being pursued against suspect Sandoval,” police spokesman Sgt. Christian Camarillo told Law&Crime in an email, without specifying. He told us to reach out to the district attorney’s office for more information.

The D.A.’s office did not immediately respond to a Law&Crime request for comment.


Police identified the three people arrested in a 3-month-old boy’s kidnapping earlier this week in California.

It turned out that one of the suspects, Yesenia Guadalupe Ramirez, 43, drove the child and his grandmother for errands before the Monday afternoon abduction, cops are now saying. Jose Roman Portillo, 28, allegedly performed the actual kidnapping. Officers also arrested Baldomeo Sandoval, 37.

Officers have said that they found 3-month-old Brandon Cuellar apparently healthy and unhurt on Tuesday, got him a medical examination out of caution, and have reunited him with his family.

Close up picture of Brandon Cuellar. And a screenshot of a male suspect who police say abducted Brandon.

Brandon Cuellar and his alleged abductor.

“This incident is a parent’s worst nightmare, and we are fortunate that we have the best Department in the Nation that helped bring forward a positive outcome,” said Chief Anthony Mata of the San Jose Police Department in California. “This case yet again highlights the dedication and commitment of our women and men who go above and beyond every day to keep our community safe. I’d like to also thank our partners at the FBI, as well as the Santa Clara County Search and Rescue team for providing additional valuable resources.”

Cops said it was Portillo who walked into the apartment on the 1000 block of Elm Street and walked off with Cuellar in a black baby carrier with a white blanket.

Officers have said that the child’s grandmother had brought him inside the residence and had been unloading groceries when the abduction occurred.

According to the new official version of events, detectives learned that Ramirez had driven the grandmother and infant for errands. Authorities said she was detained as a person of interest after her statement changed several times.

“Suspect Sandoval was identified as an additional suspect in the case and was also detained and interviewed,” officers said. “Based on their statements, and evidence obtained during the investigation, Detectives placed both Ramirez and Sandoval under arrest.”

As for Portillo, officers said they executed a search warrant at his home Tuesday and found Cuellar there.

Police did not otherwise specify Ramirez’s and Sandoval’s precise role in or link to the kidnapping.

Sgt. Christian Camarillo declined to offer more information.

“Those details will be revealed during upcoming court proceedings,” he told Law&Crime an email. “There is obviously enough evidence to hold all three under arrest.”

The investigation is ongoing.

“Any persons with information about this case or similar incidents involving this suspect are urged to contact Detective Van Brande #4542 of the Robbery Unit with any information about this incident at (408) 277-4166,” police said.

You can submit tips using the P3TIPS mobile app, through the the tip line at (408) 947-STOP, or on Cash rewards are available from the Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers Program, assuming it leads to an arrest.

[Booking photos via San Jose Police Department]

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