LOS ANGELES (CNS) — An Arizona woman who allegedly snatched a 4-year-old boy from a downtown fast-food restaurant but was stopped outside by a witness was charged Friday with kidnapping and grand theft auto.
Maralyn Ramos — who said in an outburst shortly before her case was called that she tried to help the child find his parents — pleaded not guilty and was ordered to remain jailed in lieu of $170,000 bail.
Ramos is due back in court May 31, and could face up to 11 years and eight months in state prison if convicted as charged.
Ramos, 33, allegedly carried the boy out of a McDonald’s restaurant about 3:15 p.m. Tuesday and tried to get into a parked vehicle with him before being stopped by a witness, then ran off on foot, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. The incident was captured on the restaurant’s security video.
Ramos was spotted in a stolen car and taken into custody about 10:45 p.m. Wednesday in the downtown area, according to Deputy District Attorney R.J. Dreiling.
Police initially suspected that Ramos also tried to kidnap another 4-year-old boy, but later determined she was not involved in that incident.
That second attempted kidnapping occurred about 11:15 a.m. Wednesday, when a woman — since identified as 28-year-old Dominique Del Villar, who is homeless in the downtown area — approached a boy who was walking alongside a family member and attempted to walk away with him before being stopped by a witness, according to the LAPD.
Del Villar remains at large.