Teen uses Snapchat to escape kidnappers, app leads police to San Jose motel

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- A 14-year-old Capitola girl is safe after she used the multimedia messaging app, Snapchat to escape her kidnappers.

Police said the teen was kidnapped, drugged, sexually assaulted and driven to San Jose before being rescued.

A "suspicious circumstance" led SJPD to the E-Z 8 Motel on North First Street on Tuesday morning.

Around 11:08 a.m., officers found Albert Thomas Vasquez, 55, leaving a room on the second floor. They said the victim, a 14-year-old girl, was inside.

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"Somebody shouldn't be taking anybody's young daughter and kidnapping her like that," motel guest, Joshua Holmes told ABC7 News. "That's just not right."

Police said Vasquez met the teen in Capitola on the 14th. PD believes the man drugged her, then called two other men.

SJPD said Vasquez, 34-year-old Antonio Quirino Salvador, and 31-year old Hediberto Gonzalez Avarenga drove the girl to San Jose.

Officers report Vasquez sexually assaulted the teen in the vehicle.

According to police, when the group arrived at the E-Z 8, the men carried the 14-year-old to a room, where Vasquez sexually assaulted her again.

Other motel guests are calling these serious accusations shameful, but not shocking.

"I work in the motel industry and it's really common," Angie Pueblas told ABC7 News. "So, it does not surprise me at all that this happened."

In a media release, SJPD explained the teen used Snapchat to let her friends know she had been kidnapped and didn't know where she was.

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Her friends used features within the app to find her location and called 911.

Suspects Salvador and Avarenga were arrested in San Jose on Wednesday, and face felony kidnapping and felony conspiracy charges.

SJPD's Sexual Assault Investigations Unit arrested Vasquez for felony charges including kidnapping to commit rape, digital penetration with a child under 14 years with force, false imprisonment, lewd act with a child 14 or 15 years with force, and rape by intoxication or controlled substance.

Anyone with information about this case or similar incidents involving these suspects is asked to contact Detective Anthony Barajas of the San Jose Police Department's Sexual Assault Investigations Unit at 408-277-4102.

Persons wishing to remain anonymous may either call the Crime Stoppers Tip Line, (408) 947-STOP (7867), or click the "Submit a Tip" link below. Persons providing information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect may be eligible for a cash reward from the Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers.
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