AMERICAN FORK, Utah, Feb. 9, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A suspect is in custody after an alleged child kidnapping in American Fork Tuesday morning.
At approximately 6:42 a.m., officers responded to a residence for a report of a child kidnapping in progress, said a news release from American Fork Police Department.
“The complainant (mother) reported someone had entered the back door to her residence, entered her daughter’s bedroom, and had taken her 1-year-old female baby,” the news release said. “The complainant reported she heard a vehicle drive off and could hear her daughter crying.”
Officers expedited to the scene and contacted the complainant. During their initial contact with the mother, she reported there had been an individual who had been stalking her recently and that his name was Aaron Castro. Castro and the mother were known to each other, the news release said, but he is not the child’s father.
“Officers immediately discovered that Castro lived in Lindon City and called for Lindon officers to respond to Castro’s residence,” the news release said. “A few minutes later, as Lindon officers were arriving on scene, dispatch received a 911 call from a female, who was eventually identified as Castro’s family member, who stated she had found a baby outside of her residence with Castro.”
Lindon officers arrived on scene and positively confirmed the baby on scene was the child who had been kidnapped from the residence in American Fork. Officers were eventually able to contact Castro inside of his residence and detain him for further investigation, the news release said. Castro was transported back to the American Fork Police Department for an interview.
“The baby was transported by ambulance to a local hospital as a precaution,” the news release said. “The baby did not appear to have sustained any observable injuries, but was described by officers on scene as ‘lethargic.’ The baby was eventually released from the hospital with her parents and is doing well.”
Castro told detectives that he had gone to the recreation center in Pleasant Grove to weight train during the time this incident occurred. Castro claimed that when he arrived home, he located the baby in the driveway of his residence.
“Pleasant Grove officers assisted by reviewing video at the Pleasant Grove Recreation Center,” the news release said. “Officers reviewed video and found that Castro had not been to the rec center during or near the time of the incident. When detectives confronted Castro with this information and multiple other facts that refuted Castro’s claims of being at the rec center, Castro maintained his claim he had been at the rec center and nowhere else.”
During an interview with Castro’s family member, she indicated she awoke after 7 a.m. Tuesday to a baby crying. She immediately got out of bed trying to determine what was occurring. When she looked outside, she saw the baby outside on the ground while Castro was near his vehicle with multiple car doors open. The temperature outside was in the 30-degree range. The baby had on only a pajama onesie. Officers also did not locate any form of a car seat or other child restraint system inside of Castro’s vehicle, officials said.
Video surveillance obtained by detectives placed Castro’s vehicle in the area of the initial scene at the time of the incident and also showed Castro leaving the area of his residence prior to the incident and returning after the incident had taken place.
“Many variables of this investigation are still ongoing and will require time to investigate,” the news release said. “As a result, there are some things we still cannot release. However, based on the totality of the circumstances, Castro was booked into jail by American Fork detectives on suspicion of child kidnapping, burglary of a residence, and child abuse. The case will be further screened by the Utah County Attorney’s Office.”
Castro was described by his family and the baby’s mother as having a history of mental illness, the news release said.
“We’re grateful to our officers’ and detectives’ rapid response and attention to detail which ultimately helped to ensure the safe rescue and return of the child,” the news release said. “We would also like to extend our gratitude to the Lindon Police Department, Pleasant Grove Police Department, Orem Police Department, and Central Utah 911 dispatch for their assistance with this investigation and the safe recovery of the 1-year old victim. We greatly value the positive inter-jurisdictional relationships we have with our fellow Utah County law enforcement and dispatch agencies.”