A 55-year-old Los Angeles man was charged Tuesday with kidnapping a 3-year-old girl from a Boyle Heights party on Saturday and sexually molesting her, the District Attorney’s Office announced.
Edward Lopez was charged with one count each of oral copulation of a child under 10, kidnapping to commit a lewd act on a child and lewd act on a child.
The child was kidnapped from the front yard of a home in the 3200 block of Malabar Street at about 11 p.m. Saturday, said Lt. Carlos Solano of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Hollenbeck Station.
At about 2 a.m., “we located the person who had taken the girl,” Solano said. He was still in the area of the 3200 block of Malabar. The girl was recovered and transported to a hospital for evaluation, he said.
According to the district attorney, the suspect was nude when he was found with the little girl in a locked shed nearby.
Officers at the scene called for reinforcements for “crowd control,” Solano said. When residents found he was back there, they became a little rowdy.”
The man’s relationship with the girl, if any, was not known, authorities said in the immediate aftermath.
KTLA 5, however, reported Monday that family members said the suspect is a local property maintenance worker. The man and a friend asked to join the party before the little girl’s disappearance, and both appeared intoxicated, according to KTLA 5.
When the girl was found to be missing, a frantic search ensued, and police were called to the scene.
Officers searched the home and the surrounding area, witnesses said.
The alleged kidnapper, who lives in the area, had visible injuries when he was arrested, according to neighbors. Police said the man’s injuries were incurred when he resisted arrest.
On Tuesday, the district attorney’s office said it would ask that Lopez’ bail be set at $1 million.
The mother of the toddler noticed she was missing from a party about 11 p.m. If convicted, Lopez faces up to life in prison.