KNIGHTSEN (CBS 5 / KCBS) — The grandmother of a 4-month-old baby girl who disappeared from a home in Knightsen over the weekend has been arrested on kidnapping charges after being found with the infant in Southern California, authorities said Monday.

Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Capt. Steve Warne said four sheriff’s detectives traveled to El Monte in Los Angeles County and recovered Ramy Amadea Gallego, who was found in “good health.” The baby was reunited with her parents, who appeared with their infant before television cameras on Monday evening.

“Everybody’s very happy that Ramy came back safely to her parents,” Warne said.

The girl’s paternal grandmother, 58-year-old Ericka Gallego of El Monte, was booked into the Los Angeles County jail where she was being held Monday on $150,000 bail.

She was charged with one count of kidnapping and, if convicted, could face a maximum of 11 years in prison, Deputy District Attorney Nancy Georgiou said.

KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports:

Investigators would not discuss a motive for the kidnapping, but Warne said “there’s no indication that the grandmother intended to harm the child” who disappeared from her bassinet at her parents’ home in the 1500 block of Tule Lane in Knightsen sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning.

The girl’s mother told authorities she put her daughter to bed Saturday around 10 p.m., but the girl was gone when she checked on her around 6 a.m. the next morning.

Warne said it was believed that the grandmother, took a bus and a taxi from El Monte to Knightsen and, while the parents were sleeping, snuck into their home and snatched the baby.

She then allegedly called another taxi and had the driver take her and the baby back to her house in Southern California, Warne added.

According to the parents, they had never given the grandmother permission to take the baby and initially had no reason to believe she had abducted her.

“I’m not going to lie to you, it was my mom,” the baby’s father Rudy Gallego told reporters following the police announcement of the arrest. “I think she just took a very big mental wrong turn.”

The break in the case came when El Monte police called the sheriff’s office and told them an acquaintance of the grandmother had reported that she was believed to have the baby who was reported missing.

More than 100 people from the sheriff’s office and a volunteer search-and-rescue team had looked for the girl before authorities found her with the grandmother.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

Comments (18)
  1. sam says:

    hope this family will get a dog —

  2. FaithAnn says:

    Sounds fishy to me; hmmm…

    1. Randy says:

      This family needs to be Investigated …Something sound very fishy!!

  3. Monster says:

    4-month-old babies do not just walk off by themselves. She was taken by someone she knew, otherwise parents would hear her crying. Any signs of forced entry into the home?? Could be a case of baby for sale 😦

  4. I Heart Chijuajua's says:

    Cute little rascal. but I’d rather have a chijuajua.

  5. Matt says:

    I have a six month old and he wakes up a least 2-3 times a night. Even if he woke up only 1 time I would be checking on him all night. I don’t understand how that mother would put the baby down at 10pm and not check on a four month old till 8 hours later.
    The story does not add up I’m sorry.

    1. Miss Dee says:

      @Matt…my five month old sleeps the night from 8pm to 5am and has done so since he was 4 months old….a rarity (and Godsend) but it is possible. Still doesn’t add up. My child sleeps in the next bedroom, but I have a monitor going all night. ANY noise registers on that thing. IMPOSSIBLE for someone to remove him from the room without it waking me up.

  6. DJ says:

    Wassup with granny?

  7. I Heart Chijuajua's says:

    Those wacky Mexicans!

  8. Ann Ryan says:

    This is a very nice family, their nationality has nothing to do with the fact that the grandmother is off balance. It could happen in any family. We should all be grateful that this baby was not harmed and she has been returned safely to her family.

  9. Carol says:

    I am glad that the baby was found and is safe at home . II am very glad that the Grandmother was arressted and she should be prosecuted.

    Grandparents should not kidnap their grandchildren. It happens more often then it should. . When you kidnap a child you breat the law. I hope that her son realizes that his mother could do this again and will be very strong and urge the DA to follow through.

  10. naika says:

    She will have a great time in the psych ward!

  11. Michelle Balla says:

    I can’t believe that people are blaming the mother/parents for this. Instead of focusing on what the parents could have done differently, lets focus on how mentally unstable the mother is and the fact that she has been arrested and charged. And lets focus on the good news that the baby was found in good health. This could have ended up much worse than it was.

    1. Michelle Balla says:

      Correction…mentally unstable grandmother…the father’s mother.

  12. grumpy old lady says:

    Thank goodness the baby is home and safe. What on earth was she thinking or was she even thinking? Is she mentally unstable or does she want the baby for herself? Poor parents were absolutly frantic.

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