SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was charged today with kidnapping a 4-year-old boy who was reported missing and found after Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) located the victim thanks to the assistance of Good Samaritans. Armando Torreblanca Nunez, 28, Santa Ana, is charged with one felony count of kidnapping to commit a sexual offense. If convicted, Nunez faces a maximum sentence of seven years to life in state prison and lifetime sex offender registration. The defendant is being held on $1 million bail and is scheduled to be arraigned sometime today, July 29, 2016, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.
On the evening of July 27, 2016, Nunez is accused of spotting a 4-year-old boy playing with other children in the playground area of Jerome Park in Santa Ana. He is accused of approaching the child and kidnapping him without the victim's mother noticing.
At approximately 8:20 p.m., the victim's mother called SAPD to report her son missing after she failed to locate him.
SAPD officers responded to the scene immediately and utilized the Orange County Sheriff's Department Air Support Unit helicopter and its loudspeaker to search for the missing victim. Two Good Samaritans that heard the loudspeaker announcements and had seen a man and a boy, who fit the description, detained the defendant and kept the boy safe while they contacted SAPD with the information. SAPD responded to the scene and arrested Nunez. At the time of the arrest, Nunez is accused of having a condom in his possession.
The boy was safely reunited with his family.
Deputy District Attorney Mena Guirguis of the Sexual Assault Unit is prosecuting this case.
Orange County District Attorney / Case # 16CF1970 / July 29, 2016