COLUSA (CBS13) – A mother and son who were kidnapped in Colusa County on New Year’s Eve are now safe after they escaped from their captor after 10 days, according to police.
Investigators say the woman was forced to follow the suspect’s demands in a terrifying ordeal that not only put her life in danger, but also her little boy’s.
“It’s appalling to think that somebody would do that,” Colusa resident Diana Arnaud said.
It was New Year’s Eve and officers say the 33-year-old Yuba City woman was in her car on Clay Street in Colusa with her 3-year-old boy sleeping in the backseat when the suspect, 35-year-old Jermaine Roberts, got into the vehicle and forced her to drive to his home just outside city limits.
Investigators say he held the two against their will for several days, beating her anytime she tried to leave his house.
But Roberts’ grandmother disputes those allegations.
“No, no, she wasn’t captive. She comes and goes whenever she wants to,” Juanita Roberts said.
Police did confirm the two did had a relationship but say it ended months ago.
As to the allegation she was held against her will? “Oh, that’s just a lot of bull,” Juanita Roberts said.
Police say the woman and her son finally got away 10 days after their ordeal began after Roberts fell asleep.
A passing motorist found the woman and son and took them to the sheriff’s department.
“It’s terrible that that happened here, that it would happen in this small town,” one resident said.
“It’s a quiet neighborhood so it’s a horrible thing,” said another.
When officers showed up to arrest Roberts on Thursday, he reportedly ran but didn’t get far. They found him hiding in a home nearby.
The accusations are hard for this grandmother to believe. She stands behind her grandson, even though he’s accused of such a heinous act.
“Jermaine is just Jermaine,” she said. “He’s my grandson.”
The woman was taken to the hospital. She did have some serious injuries, but she’s now home and all things considered, she and her little boy are doing quite well.
Roberts was booked into Colusa County Jail on suspicion of kidnapping, false imprisonment, oral copulation by force, and assault with a deadly weapon, not a firearm, with the likelihood of great bodily injury.
He also was booked on two counts of threatening to commit a crime with the intent to terrorize, robbery, burglary, the sale of an access card with the intent to commit fraud, inflicting corporal injury upon a spouse or cohabitant, and battery causing serious bodily injury,
Bail was set at $315,000.