Deputy rescues kidnapped teenager
January 12, 2012
During a routine traffic stop, a deputy discovered a teenage passenger who had been forcibly kidnapped from her Vandenberg Village home late Saturday evening and then arrested her kidnapper.
Early Sunday morning, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff deputy stopped a 47-year-old Corona man for a traffic violation, according to officials. The deputy then asked the man why he was driving around at 3:15 a.m. with a 14-year-old girl.
Saul Padilla claimed the girl was a relative he was taking to the store.
Nevertheless, the deputy asked for the girl’s phone number, called her parents and discovered they were not yet aware she was missing.
Investigators found that Padilla had been courting the girl on the internet for two years under the guise he was a 15-year-old boy. He arranged to meet the teen outside her home late Saturday night. Padilla then grabbed her and forced her into his car.
Deputies booked Padilla into the Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of kidnapping and lewd acts with a child. His bail was originally set at $1 million and has since been reduced to $100,000.