A woman who claims she was kidnapped 10 years ago, forced to marry her captor and even have his child, says she feels blessed to be reunited with her family.
“All the time, I cry for them, more for my mom and my sisters,” the woman told ABC affiliate KABC in an exclusive interview. She was not publicly identified.
The woman, now 25, says she spent the past 10 years with Isidro Garcia, now 41. In the California neighborhood where they lived, Garcia – known as Tomas Medrano – was known as a hardworking, churchgoing man who doted on his wife and toddler daughter.
They hosted parties. Medrano bought his wife her own car.
But police investigators say everything about that life was built on a lie, that Garcia drugged and kidnapped his victim when she was 15, raped her and beat her after failed escapes, moved at least four times to hide her identity under a fake name and, after years of psychological abuse, married her and fathered a child.
Police said that she had arrived in the U.S. from Mexico several months before her abduction and didn't speak English at the time.
Garcia, of the Los Angeles suburb of Bell Gardens, was arrested Monday when the woman finally went to police after finding her sister on Facebook.
He was charged today with five felony counts, including rape and kidnapping to commit a sexual offense, the Orange County district attorney's office said. His arraignment was expected later in the day.
The woman hugged her relatives after being reunited.
“He worked hard for me and my daughter and he bought everything I want, but I need love of my family, not things,” she told KABC.
For the woman’s mother, who never gave up hope after the decade-long disappearance, the reunion was a dream come true.
“I’m happy. God is everything,” the woman’s mother said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.