Father, friend charged in child's kidnapping

Photo by Hugh Osteen

Photo by Hugh Osteen

The father of a toddler faces felony charges after police say he violated a restraining order and kidnapped the child, holding her at a neighbor's home for more than an hour.

The neighbor also has been charged.

Forest Park police said the alleged incident happened Sunday while the girl, 4, and her mother, Marcela Vega, 31, were visiting a friend, Diana Prudente. Police say the child's father, Alvara Laredo, 33, and his neighbor, Felix Arellanes-Calleja, 36, went to the home, allegedly with the intent to take the child.

Police say Arellanes-Calleja walked into Prudente's home, without permission, to make sure the child was there.

Then, Laredo walked in, snatched up the child, and fled to Arellanes-Calleja's car. The two men drove, with the child, to Arellanes-Calleja's Morrow home.

They stayed there with the child for more than an hour, before police found them.

Police say Laredo slapped the child on her right arm, leaving red marks. The child was afraid of her father, police said, and did not want to be alone with him.

Laredo has no legal rights to the child. Vega complained to police several times that Laredo stalked, and harassed her, warrants allege.

Arellanes-Calleja resisted arrest, and had to be forced into handcuffs, said police.

Both men are being held without bond in the Clayton County Jail on charges of kidnapping, aggravated stalking, burglary, simple battery and interference with custody.

–– Kathy Jefcoats