Two held for baby Sofia’s abduction

Valentina Hernandez with her daughter Sofia Rivas. -
Valentina Hernandez with her daughter Sofia Rivas. -

The parents of nine-month-old Sofia Rivas, who was kidnapped on Tuesday, say they are still shaken up by the incident.

Though they aren’t ready to talk about it, relatives told Newsday the baby has been vomiting since she got back home and seems traumatised by the experience.

Police found the child at McInroy Street, Curepe, and she was returned to her parents, hours after she was taken from her mother in Chaguanas on Tuesday.

Police told Newsday on Wednesday morning that the Central Division CID, Task Force and the Anti-Kidnapping Unit received information on Tuesday night that that the child was in an apartment building in Curepe.

When they got there at 10 pm, Sofia was found in the care of a 29-year-old woman from California in Central Trinidad and a male suspect. They were arrested and are assisting AKU investigations.

Newsday was told the child was sent for a medical checkup before she was handed over to her mother.

On Tuesday the mother reported the child missing at 7.30 am. Valentina Hernandez said a “thin woman” had asked to take the child to a supermarket in Longdenville Old Road.

The mother told the police she later got a call from the suspect demanding a $20,000 ransom for the safe return of her daughter.

Police found baby Sofia Rivas, the kidnapped daughter of Venezuelan Valentina Hernandez, at this McInroy Street, Curepe, house on Tuesday night. - Angelo Marcelle

At the apartment where the baby was found in Curepe, tenants were shocked by the news that an abducted baby had been found in the apartment of a man they described as “not that type of fella.”

A tenant pointed to an apartment with a white locked door, at the end of a dirt track from the main road, where the child was found.

He told Newsday, “I have never seen that girl, but I see she come in here yesterday, and she sit down on the phone. I walk inside my apartment and I lie down. When I raise my head I say, ‘I surprise he bring somebody there.’ I put on my glasses just to make sure what I seeing was right.”

He said the man came home around 7.30 pm and went straight into his apartment, which was unusual.

“The person gets up, move around the yard, and when I look again, I see a little child in her hands.

“I just went and lock off my water and I pass back near them and by the time I went back I ain’t see nobody.”

The man said he thought the woman was the child’s mother.

“Later that night, I walk out in front and the police was passing looking at me. I find it funny. Then another one come. I find it more funny. Then (suspect’s name) come out and ask, ‘Where dem police gone?’”

He said moments later he saw a group of police officers, one holding the child. The man and woman were being interviewed.

“I say, ‘What the hell is this? I can’t believe this’…

“I don’t know how he get himself in such stupidness. I don’t know him to be that person. He just doesn’t seen like somebody who has a criminal mind…I just think he didn’t know that child was a stolen child and he just try to help out this girl, because he sat down on this chair when the police come for them saying, ‘My son set me up, boy.’”

A police report said the man had been held for questioning earlier that day but was released.

The tenant said he has never seen any female visitors come to that apartment during the nine years the man had rented it.


"Two held for baby Sofia’s abduction"

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