Woman arrested for kidnapping infant, car theft appears in court

April 22, 2013 12:17:13 PM PDT
A San Jose woman who has been charged with kidnapping after she stole a car with an 11-month-old girl inside is scheduled to appear in court for a plea hearing this morning.

Karla Belen Hernandez, 23, was arrested April 12 in connection with the March 25th incident, according to police.

The child, Gabriella Quintero, was taken at about 6:30 a.m. after her mother briefly left her unattended in a 2006 Jeep Liberty outside their home in the 2300 block of Amador Court in East San Jose, police said.

The mother, Graciella Quintero, had been warming up the vehicle with the baby inside. She left momentarily to close her garage door, leaving the key in the ignition, and when she came back she saw her car being driven away with the infant inside, police said.

It is not clear whether Hernandez knew there was a baby in the backseat. The baby was found safe inside the abandoned Jeep around 11:22 a.m. about four miles to the south, in the 400 block of Amargosa Court in San Jose.

Hernandez was identified as a suspect after police released a sketch the day after the alleged kidnapping, but police said witnesses and physical evidence also tied her to the crime.

Hernandez faces charges including kidnapping, child endangerment and auto theft.

She is scheduled to appear at 9 a.m. in Dept. 23, Santa Clara County Superior Court.