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Utah mom heard kidnapped baby crying as man drove away with her, police say

SHARE Utah mom heard kidnapped baby crying as man drove away with her, police say

Police arrested Aaron Castro Tuesday for investigation of child kidnapping, burglary of a residence, and child abuse after they say he broke into an American Fork mother’s home and kidnapped her 1-year-old daughter.

Utah County Sheriff’s Office

AMERICAN FORK — An American Fork mother heard her 1-year-old daughter crying and then a car driving away early Tuesday and soon discovered that someone had sneaked into her home and kidnapped her baby.

American Fork police later recovered the child and booked Aaron Castro, 25, of Lindon, into the Utah County Jail for investigation of child kidnapping, burglary of a residence and child abuse.

At 6:42 a.m., officers responded to a residence in American Fork on reports of a child kidnapping in progress.

The mother told police “someone had entered the back door to her residence, entered her daughter’s bedroom, and had taken her 1-year old female baby. (She) reported she heard a vehicle drive off and could hear her daughter crying,” according to a police booking affidavit.

It was unclear whether the mother identified Castro as the man who entered her home Tuesday. The two are acquainted, according to the affidavit, and the mother told officers Castro has been stalking her recently.

Officers then contacted Lindon police, who responded to Castro’s residence.

At 7:14 a.m. shortly before officers arrived, dispatchers received a 911 call from a woman later identified as Castro’s sister who claimed “she had found a baby outside of her residence,” the affidavit states.

The woman told officers she woke up about 7 a.m. to the sound of a baby crying.

“When she looked outside, she saw the victim baby outside on the ground while Castro was around his vehicle with multiple car doors open,” according to the affidavit. Temperatures Tuesday morning were around 30 degrees, and police say the baby was only wearing a “pajama onesie” and there was no car seat in Castro’s car.

After confirming the identity of the child, police said they located Castro inside the home, detained him and transported him to the American Fork Police Department.

The baby, who police say appeared “lethargic” but had no visible injuries, was taken to a hospital for an evaluation and was later released. She is now with her parents and is doing well, according to police.  

Castro told detectives “he had gone to the recreation center in Pleasant Grove to work out during the morning” and found the child in the driveway when he returned home, the affidavit states.

But police say surveillance footage from the Pleasant Grove Recreation Center tells a different story, noting in the report that officers “found no video at all that showed Castro had been at or inside the recreation center.”

“When the detective confronted Castro with this information and other information that refuted Castro’s claims of being at the recreation center, Castro maintained his claim he had been at the rec center and nowhere else,” according to the affidavit.

Police also reviewed surveillance footage from a gas station near the victim’s residence “along the probable route Castro would have taken from the initial scene to Lindon” that showed what appeared to be Castro’s vehicle shortly after the kidnapping was reported, the affidavit says.

Both his family and the baby’s mother told police that Castro has a history of mental illness, including schizophrenia, according to the affidavit. 

Castro’s criminal history includes convictions for disorderly conduct, domestic violence, assault, trespassing and drug-related offenses, according to the affidavit.