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“You’re talking about a 15-year-old girl that’s in a new country,” he said. “She’s got nowhere to go.”

In 2007, Garcia got documents from Mexico that gave the girl a new name and date of birth. Using those documents, he married her at a courthouse. He fathered a girl with her in 2012.

Garcia secured two jobs for them on a night cleaning crew so he could keep watch over her. She tried to escape twice but was severely beaten.

Recently, she found her sister on Facebook and they started to communicate. She also learned that her mother had indeed tried to find her, going to a Spanish-language television station and newspaper in 2004.

She started reflecting on her own child’s situation and realized she needed to leave, Bertagna said. On Monday, she went to police in Bell Gardens and reported that she was a victim of domestic abuse. She also told them of her abduction.

Police arrested Garcia on Monday during a traffic stop in Bell Gardens. On Tuesday, Santa Ana police arrested him on the kidnapping and other charges, and also interviewed him.

Garcia was expected to be arraigned Thursday.

Neighbors near Garcia’s apartment in Bells Gardens said they were shocked by the news. They knew the suspect as Tomas Madrano and described him as a devoted family man who worked hard to provide for his wife and daughter.

They said the couple was known in the neighborhood: He worked at a food-service company down the street from their apartment while she worked as a janitor at a nearby business. The couple attended church a block away, and they were known for parties where they would hire mascots and hold a raffle for children in the neighborhood.

“I’m astounded she waited so long to say something,” said Rita Salazar, who lived across the street from the couple and said she never saw any signs of trouble.

The case comes just over a year after kidnapping and rape victims Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, three women who had gone missing separately about a decade earlier while in their teens or early 20s, were rescued from a house in Cleveland.

Elizabeth Smart, who was kidnapped from her Utah bedroom at 14 and held captive for nine months, told The Associated Press that outsiders cannot know what victims are going through and should not question why the woman didn’t escape sooner.

Smart, now 26, faced similar questions after her 2002 ordeal. She was repeatedly sexually assaulted and her captors moved her around Utah and California while threatening to kill her family if she tried to save herself.

“We don’t know what these evil people are holding over them - whether it’s their families’ lives, their lives, whatever it is,” Smart said. “We just don’t know.”

A prominent psychiatrist who helped define Stockholm syndrome, in which victims of abduction begin to sympathize with their captors, said determining why a victim resists possible escape even when an opportunity is available is not an exact science.

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