Charge: Woman who snatched baby in Minneapolis said she recently miscarried

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH and ABBY SIMONS , Star Tribune staff writers
  • Updated: February 22, 2013 - 9:28 PM

Police say the woman was found in a basement, clutching Carlos; she told the baby’s mother that she had recently had a miscarriage.

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Police carried 8-month old Carlos Orozco to an ambulance so that he may be reunited with his mother Vicky Orozco near the corner of E. 22nd Street and Portland Avenue South, Wednesday, February 20, 2013 in Minneapolis, MN.

Photo: Elizabeth Flores, Star Tribune

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The woman charged with snatching a baby from a south Minneapolis apartment and setting off a four-hour hunt told the mother that she recently miscarried a child, according to a felony kidnapping charge filed Friday. Isabel Diaz-Castillo, 30, was found with the baby late Wednesday afternoon in the basement of a home a few miles from where she allegedly snatched 8-month-old Carlos Orozco.

Officers had to force the baby from her arms as she screamed, “That’s my baby!” the complaint said.

She remains jailed in lieu of $100,000 bail, with a court hearing scheduled for Monday. State guidelines call for a four-year prison sentence.

Police say Diaz-Castillo had told family members she had given birth but the baby had been taken back to Mexico. She told them that Carlos was that child, and had just been returned to her.

Diaz-Castillo met the boy’s mother, Vicky Orozco, about a month ago at a laundromat and took “an extreme interest” in the child, the complaint read. Diaz-Castillo confided in Orozco that she had had a miscarriage in the past few months, the complaint added.

“I can’t imagine a more sickening feeling for a parent to come out of a shower and the child is gone. This also appears to be a terrible betrayal of a friend,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said during a news conference Friday. He added that although Diaz-Castillo showed interest in the baby, “Nothing appeared to be inappropriate” prior to the kidnapping.

Asked whether Diaz-Castillo has emotional problems, Freeman said, “There’s some fragments of evidence here that Castillo had lost a child recently to a miscarriage and that she was missing that child, and the actions that took place don’t seem right. But we don’t have any indication, nor is there any records that we have today of prior mental illness.”

Diaz-Castillo is also the subject of an “immigration detainer” from federal officials who suspect she is in the United States illegally. They want to be notified before she is released.

According to the complaint:

After they met at the laundromat, Diaz-Castillo was an occasional visitor to Orozco’s home and was expected to come by Wednesday morning and lend Orozco some money. She called numerous times that morning to say she would be there in 15 minutes. During the last call, Orozco said she was going to take a shower.

Officers were soon called to the apartment about a kidnapping. They met outside with Orozco, who had driven around the block looking for her baby. She said she left him strapped in a car seat on a couch while she showered.

After the boy was reported missing, police located Diaz-Castillo’s boyfriend, who told officers that she has two children and said she had a younger son in Mexico whom she was trying to bring to Minnesota. Police noted two full suitcases on a bed, and the boyfriend explained that he and Diaz-Castillo were moving. As the boyfriend and officers were speaking, his sister called and said Diaz-Castillo had come by her house with a baby.

About 3:45 p.m., officers were called by someone who saw an Amber Alert and reported seeing Diaz-Castillo’s vehicle in the 3700 block of 3rd Avenue S.

Officers went to a home in the block, where Diaz-Castillo’s brother and his wife live, and found the suspect in the basement with the baby. She had gone downstairs upon hearing police at the door.

The complaint said Diaz-Castillo showed up at her brother’s home with the boy and said the child had arrived from Mexico the previous day. The brother’s wife told police that Diaz-Castillo also told relatives that she was pregnant and had given birth to a child who was sent to Mexico. However, no one had seen Diaz-Castillo pregnant.

Orozco noticed upon her boy’s return that his hair had been cut.

Freeman said it doesn’t appear that Diaz-Castillo’s actions were anything more sinister than those of a troubled woman.

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