Border authorities on alert in Calif. kidnapping
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Authorities trying to find a 3-year-old kidnap victim say they're investigating several theories, including that the Spanish-speaking kidnappers were from Mexico and may have had ties to organized crime there.
Authorities along the Mexican border were on alert and FBI agents were helping in the investigation into the disappearance of Briant Rodriguez.
"Every minute, every second that passes, is critical," investigating Sgt. Doug Hubbard said Tuesday at a news conference. "But we are remaining positive and investigating it as if we just went on scene."
Two gunmen burst through the family's front door Sunday and tied up Briant, four of his siblings and their mother, Maria Rosalina Millan, then ransacked the house, stealing money and other property, the Sheriff's Department has said.
There have been no ransom demands and no motive has been established as to why Briant was taken.
Sheriff's spokeswoman Cindy Beavers said investigators were considering all possibilities but had no substantial leads.
"They've been looking at many, many avenues," she said. "It's certainly a possibility they were up from Mexico."
As more than two days passed since the kidnapping, authorities said they had no lack of tips but none had brought substantial information.
"If anybody sees him please call the police," Millan said at the news conference. "They might have cut his hair so people don't recognize him, but it's the same beautiful, beautiful face."
The home invasion lasted about 20 minutes, after which the men left with Briant, ordering his mother and the other children not to call police, officials said.
One of the children was able to loosen himself from his ties and freed the rest of the family, authorities said.
The family lives in a modest, single-story home in a lower-income area abutting the city of San Bernardino, about 60 miles east of Los Angeles.