Neighbor’s surveillance tape gives evidence of abduction

Associated Press

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Police investigating the abduction of a fourth-grade girl released a grainy surveillance videotape Sunday that contains several brutal images and sounds from the brazen crime.

Jennette Tamayo, 9, was still missing Sunday and presumed to be with the man who assaulted the girl’s mother and brother before speeding off with the child.

The investigation carried on in full force Sunday, with search and rescue teams scouring the San Jose area and beyond for any sign of the missing girl.

The tape, shot by a neighbor’s home surveillance cameras, show a man pulling up in front of Jennette’s home Friday afternoon and going inside. Police aren’t sure how he was able to enter the house, but they believe he may have gotten in through a broken rear window.

After approximately 25 minutes inside the house, the suspect is seen returning to wait in the car. Around him, neighbors carry out their daily activities, like playing basketball and bringing children home from school.

At one point another car drives past, then backs up and lingers next to the suspect’s car. Police said they are looking for the driver of that car but have no information on who it might be.

At approximately 4:20 p.m., Jennette is seen crossing the street and entering the house alone. The man gets out of the car about 90 seconds later and follows her into the house.

Jennette, a playful, smiling fourth grader with long dark-brown hair streaked with blonde, was generally dropped off by a school bus a few blocks from home, neighbors said.

After 25 minutes inside the house, the suspect came back outside and backed his car into the garage.

Around this time, Jennette’s mother, aunt and 15-year-old brother drive up to the house. The aunt is seen getting out and driving away in a separate car, while the boy tries to open the garage door. He manages to pry the bottom part of the door open and crawl underneath, at which point, police say, he is attacked and choked by the man inside.

While the attack isn’t visible on the surveillance tape, sounds of the altercation can be heard and Rosalie Tamayo is seen running inside the house to help her son. Police said the suspect confronted her between the kitchen and garage, and beat her with pans and a ladder.

By now the boy has broken free, and is seen on the tape running outside for help. His mother comes out moments later, beaten and bloodied but screaming for help as well. The suspect then pulls out of the driveway in his car with Jennette inside and speeds across the lawn, crushing rose bushes along the way.

“The tape is very disturbing,” San Jose Police spokesman Steve Dixon said. “It’s very, very brazen.”

Dixon said that while the images on the black-and-white tape are not always clear, the tape shows the attack was not a random residential burglary.

“The tape makes it very clear the he was targeting this house,” Dixon said. “He wasn’t roaming the neighborhood looking for houses to break into. He was there for quite some time, just waiting for this little girl to come home.”

The video did not include any distinct shots of the kidnapper’s license plate or his face. Dixon said police plan to try and enhance the video to see if the images can be made more clear.

Rosalie Tamayon and her son, who were both treated at a local hospital and released, told police they did not recognize the intruder.

Police released a sketch of the man Saturday. They described him as being in his 30s to early 40s, from 5-feet-2 to 5-feet-5-inches tall, weighing about 160 pounds. He was dark haired, unshaven, and wore a gray beanie and silver colored shirt. He may have scratches on his face or arms from a struggle with Jennette’s mother.

The California Highway Patrol has issued a statewide Amber Alert for a silver sedan the man drove from the scene. It had tinted windows in the rear and a loud muffler and appeared similar to a late 80s or early 90s Honda Accord.

The abduction has shaken residents of the quiet middle class neighborhood, where Jennette lives with her mother, brother and stepfather.

Kumar Malavy, who was captured on the videotape playing basketball with his son as the suspect sat in his car nearby, was shooting hoops again on Sunday but said his sense of security had been shattered.

“The kids are concerned; they’re scared. They want to make sure the security system is on before going to sleep,” he said.