TRUCKEE (CBS Sacramento) — A teenager abducted from Idaho was located in the Truckee area and both suspects have been taken into custody, the California Highway Patrol said.
Sergio Alcantar, 18, and Carmelo Galarza, 35, were both booked into the Nevada County jail where they face kidnapping charges. The victim, a 14-year-old girl, is in the custody of child protective services.
Truckee-area CHP said the Rupert police department in Idaho told them they believed the victim was in danger of being sexually assaulted or forced into human trafficking and that one of the suspects had a felony warrant in Idaho for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old.
Rupert police told CHP that investigators believed the three were headed toward Santa Rosa, California. An AMBER alert was issued on Thursday for Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Yolo, Solano, Napa and Sonoma Counties.
Truckee area CHP said cell phone tracking helped located the three near the Donner Summit rest area. Galarza was located in the driver’s seat of the suspect vehicle, authorities said, and Alcantar was located with the girl 200 yards north of the rest area hiding behind a large tree.
Officer Chris Falkowski helped find the young girl.
“We had two officers that went approximately 100 to 200 yards into the forest and found suspect number one in the victim,” Falkowski said. ” They were in the tree hole, they were buried.”
He said the girl was only wearing a t-shirt and pants in near-freezing conditions.
“She was soaked from probably her waist down,” Falkowski said.
Falkowski said finding the young girl and arresting the suspects was “probably top of all my experiences in 20 years.“ The best part was being able to tell Rupert officers she was safe.
“It sounded like their whole agency was shouting for joy,” he said.
As for the 14-year-old girl, after all this, all she wanted was a Hershey bar. She was taken into protective custody and is being reunited with her family.