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California baby abduction suspects may have connection to boy’s family, police say

Authorities are investigating whether there is a connection between one of the suspects alleged to have kidnapped a baby from his mother’s home in Northern California and the boy’s family.

San Jose Deputy Police Chief Paul Joseph said “what exactly that connection is” remains unclear. Three people have been taken into custody in the alleged kidnapping of 3-month-old Brandon Cuellar.

One of the suspects was recorded in surveillance video holding a baby carrier, Joseph said.

Investigators were still working to determine a possible motive, he said, adding that the suspects could be charged with kidnapping.

Brandon Cuellar, 3 months.@SJPD_PIO via Twitter

Joseph said a combination of surveillance video and witnesses helped authorities find the boy Tuesday morning, less than 24 hours after he disappeared from his mother’s apartment north of downtown San Jose.

NBC Bay Area reported that a worker at an adult care facility tipped off police to a “suspicious” van with a baby carrier inside.

Minutes later, witnesses told the station, authorities flooded an area about 14 minutes from the apartment complex from which Brandon had disappeared.

One person was arrested and authorities could be seen checking Brandon in the back of an ambulance, the station reported.

The station obtained video that appeared to show the boy on a stretcher.

Joseph said Brandon was unharmed and in good condition. By Tuesday afternoon, he was reunited with his mother, the department said.

“This incident is a parent’s worst nightmare,” Police Chief Anthony Mata told reporters. “We are lucky that this resulted in a positive outcome.”

Authorities said Brandon disappeared around 1 p.m. after his grandmother briefly left him at his mother’s apartment while she collected groceries from her car.

Four hours later, the police department released surveillance video showing the man with the baby carrier walking down a street.

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