HOUSTON—A suspect wanted for snatching a 6-year-old girl from a northwest Houston apartment complex in broad daylight Wednesday is in custody.
Police say Joaquin Ramos, 23, has confessed to the kidnapping.
Ramos was arrested at Memorial Hermann Hospital early Thursday where his wife had just given birth to their fourth child.
"I don’t know, I guess he is just maybe a pervert. But why would you have a pervert and the lady living with him has kids," said Marlene Fernandez, the victim’s aunt. "Why would you let a pervert live with you if you have kids with you? What were his plans?"
It was Wednesday afternoon when police said the victim and her mother had just pulled into a garage at an apartment complex in the 1700 block of Wirt Road. As the mother was unloading her vehicle, the girl went to look at some ice on the fence in the parking garage.
At that time, a Jeep Cherokee pulled into the garage, made a U-turn and pulled up alongside where the girl was standing. The driver, Ramos, exited the Jeep and walked to the passenger side where he opened the back passenger door. He then walked toward the girl, who tried to run away.
Ramos ran after the girl, grabbed her and took her to the passenger side of the vehicle and put her into the back seat. He then got into the driver seat of the Jeep and exited the parking garage. The mother went back down to the garage and began to chase the Jeep on foot as it left the garage. The mother was not able to stop the fleeing Jeep, so she ran back to her vehicle and tried to pursue it, but lost sight of it and her child, police said.
Ramos allegedly told the little girl he had to meet with family members, then pulled over to a Target Store located in the 900 block of Gessner Road near Memorial City Mall. At 4:10 pm, he and the child were seen walking into the store. Ramos told the girl he had to take a bathroom break and instructed her to do so as well.
The girl went into the restroom where she alerted a customer that she had been kidnapped. The customer informed store management, who went into the restroom and recovered the girl. Ramos left the store before authorities were able to detain him.
The child appeared to be unharmed, but was taken to Texas Children’s Hospital as a precaution.
Images of the kidnapper were caught on surveillance video and released to the public. Police say family members recognized Ramos after surveillance video of him appeared on the news.
The little girl’s family still has many unanswered questions.
"But you know what, now that he’s caught, he’s going to know what they do to guys in jail like him. So he’s going to pay for what he was trying to do or what he did to other little girls that we do not know about. And he’s going to pay in jail because we already know what they do to guys like that in jail."
Ramos' bond was set at $5,000.