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Man suspected of kidnapping Riverside girl may have other victims, police say

The suspect, who had rented a room from the victim's family months ago, allegedly abducted the 9-year-old while she and her two siblings were asleep and her mother was at work.

May 18, 2011|By Phil Willon, Los Angeles Times
  • Jose Wilson Rojas Guzman, 30, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, has been charged with attempted murder, kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault. He is being held on $1-million bail and has been placed on an immigration hold.
Jose Wilson Rojas Guzman, 30, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, has been… (Riverside Police Department )

A 30-year-old man arrested in the kidnapping and brutal sexual assault of a 9-year-old girl had rented a room from the victim's family months ago and may be responsible for other attacks, Riverside police said Tuesday.

Jose Wilson Rojas Guzman, 30, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, has been charged with attempted murder, kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault. He is being held on $1-million bail and has been placed on an immigration hold.

"This is a particularly brutal crime," said Riverside Police Chief Sergio G. Diaz. "We'd be very surprised, given what we know about sexual predators, that this was his first time out.... It's altogether possible that this individual left the victim for dead. Her injuries were that severe."

Police said DNA evidence found on the girl matched Guzman. Riverside police had taken Guzman into custody May 9 after spotting his truck, similar to one caught on video surveillance cameras near the crime scene, near a restaurant across from the Galleria at Tyler mall.

The girl was abducted from the family's second-story apartment about 11 p.m. May 7 while she and her two siblings were asleep. The kidnapper crept into the home through an unlocked window. She was found about two hours later in a residential neighborhood three miles from home, dazed and knocking on doors asking for help.

Her mother, a waitress, was at work at the time. The oldest sibling was watching the children, but had fallen asleep, police said.

Det. Roberta Hopewell, who led the investigation, said Guzman had rented a room from the victim's mother for two months and left in January. Investigators are trying to determine where he lived before then — and where he's been living since. They hope it leads to additional evidence and helps them determine whether there are more victims.

Hopewell said the girl, who recently was released from Loma Linda University Medical Center, said she does not remember who abducted her.

"We're very, very happy that we do have somebody in custody," Hopewell said. "Now, hopefully the victim will feel much safer, and the neighborhood will feel much safer."

phil.willon@latimes.com

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