American Fork authorities arrested a Lindon man Tuesday after he allegedly abducted a 1-year-old girl from her home.
According to a press release published by American Fork city officials, officers responded to a local residence just before 7 a.m. on Tuesday after receiving reports of a child abduction in progress. The child’s mother told authorities someone had entered the home through a back door, going into her daughter’s bedroom and taking the child.
The mother said she heard her daughter crying and a vehicle driving away.
When officers arrived on scene and made contact with the mother, she told them there had been a man who had been stalking her, naming him as 25-year-old Aaron Castro of Lindon. Although Castro and the mother “were known to each other,” according to the press release, Castro is not the biological father of the child.
Once officials discovered that Castro lived in Lindon, American Fork authorities called for Lindon officers to respond at his residence. While Lindon officers were arriving on scene, one of Castro’s female family members allegedly contacted dispatch and reported that she had found a baby outside of the residence.
When Lindon officers arrived on scene, they were able to positively identify the child as the missing baby from American Fork. Authorities also were able to make contact with Castro inside of his residence, detaining him in order to continue their investigation.
After he was detained, Castro was transported to the American Fork Police Department to speak with police. In an interview with police, Castro allegedly said he had gone to a Pleasant Grove Recreation Center to weight train when the child was being abducted. He reportedly said he had only discovered the child in the driveway of his residence when he had returned home.
Officers with the Pleasant Grove Police Department reviewed video footage from the Pleasant Grove Recreation Center and reported that Castro had not been there during the time of the incident, according to the press release.
Castro’s vehicle also was placed in the area of the child abduction site at the time of the incident using video surveillance. Footage also showed Castro leaving and returning to his residence before and after the child abduction had taken place.
Detectives reportedly confronted Castro with this information as well as several other pieces of evidence that had been discovered, however, Castro maintained that he had been at the recreation center and nowhere else.
Police also interviewed Castro’s female family member who had contacted dispatch that morning.
The woman said she woke up after 7 a.m. Tuesday to a baby crying, immediately getting out of her bed to see what was happening. When she looked outside, the woman allegedly told police she saw the baby outside on the ground while Castro was around his vehicle with his car doors open. Temperatures, at the time, were in the 30s.
Castro’s family as well as the child’s mother describe him as having a history of mental illness.
As a precaution, the child was transported to a local hospital via ambulance.
Medical personnel reported that the child did not appear to have sustained “any observable injuries,” adding that officers on scene described her as lethargic, according to the press release. The child was released from the hospital and to her parents. Authorities have reported that the child “is doing well.”
“We’re grateful to our officers’ and detectives’ rapid response and attention to detail which ultimately helped to ensure the safe rescue and return of the child,” the American Fork press release read. “We would also like to extend our gratitude to the Lindon Police Department, Pleasant Grove Police Department, Orem Police Department, and Central Utah 911 Dispatch for their assistance with this investigation and the safe recovery of the 1-year old victim. We greatly value the positive inter-jurisdictional relationships we have with our fellow Utah County law enforcement and dispatch agencies.”
Castro was booked into the Utah County Jail under the suspicion of first-degree felony child kidnapping, second-degree felony burglary of a dwelling, and class A misdemeanor child abuse and neglect.
The investigation is still ongoing, and the case is being screened by the Utah County Attorney’s Office.