An amber alert that went out at 2:17 AM Monday morning has been resolved, Mercury News reports. Thanks to public response to the amber alert, police were able to retrieve the child safely.
The ordeal began late Sunday night when police responded to calls of a woman screaming. They arrived at the 500 block of South 11th St where the suspect, 24 year-old Victor Magana, had assaulted the girl’s mother. After stabbing the woman, critically injuring her, Magana fled with their 2 year-old daughter, Bethanie Carraza.
Police arrived after Magana fled, discovering the injured mother. Without known whereabouts, California Highway Patrol issued the amber alert to enlist the help of the public in finding the 2-year-old child.
Citizens Engaged by Amber Alert
After pulling into a gas station in Cambria, 200 miles away from the initial crime scene, civilians recognized Magana’s 2007 Hyundai Sante Fe from the amber alert. After observing the toddler within the vehicle, they decided to take action.
Despite warnings of an armed suspect, the individuals engaged with the suspect’s car. In an effort to detain him, they pulled their cars around his to prohibit his escape. Then they called the police. Authorities arrived to detain Magana and rescue Bethanie.
“The child is safe. That was our primary concern,” Sgt. Enrique Garcia of the San Jose police force said after the search was over. Garcia gave the initial press conference when the amber alert was issued, appealing to Magana to return the child to safety. “He can’t change what happened, but he has the ability to at least not harm the child, and do what’s right and release her,” Garcia said.
The alert, pushed to 15 counties, accompanied signs along Bay Area freeways. The decision to issue the alert proved vital in returning 2 year-old Bethanie Carraza to safety.
The mother remains in critical condition from at least one stab wound.