COSTA RICA NEWS – Police in Heredia continue their search for six year old Yerelyn Guzmán Calvo, who is believed was kidnapped on Friday in the area of San Martín de Santo Domingo, Heredia.
The prime suspect is the little girl’s cousin, a 24 year old man identified as Guzman, a cousin of the father of the little girl, who the Fiscalía de Heredia (Heredia prosecutor’s office) say has a history of sexual abuse.
According to a statement by the Ministerio Público, on March 10 an aunt of the missing girl took her to a clinic after noticing that the 24 year old Guzman was acting suspiciously around the little girl.
The clinic sent an alert to the Fiscalía to investigate, ordering the little girl’s transfer to the San Vicente de Paúl in Heredia for a complete exam.
The next day, judicial agents interviewed the girl’s father, and later the aunt, who said they observed nothing unusual. The little girl was also interviewed, who denied any abuse had taken place.
The medical examiner reported he found no evidence of abuse, the Fiscalia dropped the case on June 12.
Last Friday night the little girl disappeared. Police arrested Guzman, but were forced to release him for lack of evidence of kidnapping.
Sunday night, police again arrested Guzman, in San Pablo de Heredia.
The arrest was made after two brothers of the missing girl, also minors, said that in recent weeks they had been abused by Guzman.
Francisco Segura, director of Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ), explained the Guzman habitually babysat for the minors.
According to Segura, there are ‘versions’ (reports) that suggest abuses took place.
On Friday, during his first arrest, Guzman told police he had not taken the missing girl.
But the story gets more complicated. The Patronato Nacional de la Infancia (PANI) – child welfare agency – confirms a 2012 complaint of assault of the three children by the mother, who was ordered to correct her corporal punishment as a method of upbringing and education.
In 2007, both parents were provided ‘professional guidance’ on their living arrangements, but no PANI intervention was warranted then.
Monday night, 15 officers of the Grupo de Apoyo Operacional (GAO) de la Policía de Heredia – a specialized police unit akin to a SWAT team, along with OIJ agents, raided four homes near the missing girl.
Today, Tuesday, the OIJ continues its search of Yerelyn, focusing their search in one specific location, some 500 metres from the family home, where both Guzman and Yerelyn were last seen.
Katia Chavarría, director of the Heredia detachment of the Fuerza Publica, says they are following up on leads and have closed off an area, restricting total access, while the search continues.
Sources: La Nacion; CRHoy