Aaron Castro. Photo courtesy of the Utah County Jail
AMERICAN FORK, Utah, Feb. 9, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) – A suspect is in custody following an alleged child abduction in American Fork Tuesday morning.
At around 6:42 a.m., officers responded to an apartment to get a report of an ongoing child abduction, a press release from the American Fork Police Department said.
“The complainant (mother) reported that someone had entered the back door of her apartment, entered her daughter’s bedroom and taken her 1-year-old female baby,” the press release said. “The complainant reported that she heard a vehicle drive off and heard her daughter cry.”
The officers hastened the scene and contacted the complainant. During her first contact with the mother, she reported that there had been someone who had recently persecuted her and that his name was Aaron Castro. Castro and the mother knew each other, the news release said, but he is not the child’s father.
“The officials immediately discovered that Castro lived in Lindon City and asked Lindon officials to respond to Castro’s apartment,” the press release said. “A few minutes later, when Lindon officials arrived on site, the mailer received an 911 call from a woman who was eventually identified as Castro’s family member and claimed to have found a baby with Castro outside of her home.”
Lindon officials arrived on site and positively confirmed that the local baby was the child kidnapped from the American Fork residence. The officers were finally able to contact Castro inside his apartment and detain him for further investigation, the press release said. Castro was brought back to the American Fork Police Department for an interview.
“The baby was taken to a local hospital by ambulance as a precaution,” the press release said. “The baby did not appear to have suffered any observable injuries, but was described as ‘lethargic’ by local officials. The baby was eventually released from the hospital with his parents and is fine. “
Castro told the detectives that he went to the Pleasant Grove Recreation Center to do weight training during this incident. Castro claimed when he got home he found the baby in the driveway of his apartment.
“Pleasant Grove officials endorsed the video at the Pleasant Grove Recreation Center,” the press release said. “The officers checked the video and found that Castro had not been at the recovery center during or near the incident. When detectives confronted Castro with this information and several other facts that refuted Castro’s claim of being at the recreation center, Castro claimed he had been to the recreation center and nowhere else. “
During an interview with Castro’s family member, she stated that she woke up after 7 a.m. on Tuesday with a crying baby. She got up immediately and tried to see what was happening. When she looked outside, she saw the baby outside on the floor while Castro was near his vehicle and several car doors were open. The outside temperature was in the 30 degree range. The baby was only wearing a pajama romper. Officers also found no form of car seat or other child restraint system in Castro’s vehicle, officials said.
The video surveillance received from detectives placed Castro’s vehicle in the area of the first scene at the time of the incident and also showed Castro leaving the area of his residence before the incident and returning after the incident.
“Many variables in this study are ongoing and require time to study,” the press release said. “As a result, there are some things that we still cannot publish. However, given the entirety of the circumstances, Castro was jailed by American Fork detectives on suspicion of child kidnapping, home breakdown, and child molestation. The case is under further investigation by the Utah County Attorney’s Office. “
Castro has been described as mentally ill by his family and the baby’s mother, the press release said.
“We are grateful for the quick response and attention to detail from our officers and detectives who ultimately helped ensure the safe rescue and return of the child,” the press release said. “We would also like to thank the Lindon Police Department, the Pleasant Grove Police Department, the Orem Police Department, and Central Utah 911 for their assistance in this investigation and the safe recovery of the 1 year old victim. We value the positive inter-jurisdictional relationships we have with our law enforcement and shipping counterparts in Utah County. “