Kidnapping suspect expected in court |

Kidnapping suspect expected in court

A 40-year-old Grass Valley man is expected to appear in Nevada County Superior Court this week in connection with a baby that was momentarily snatched from a neighborhood grocery store.

James L. Valdez is in the Wayne Brown Correctional Facility on suspicion of kidnapping, kidnapping a child under 14 years old, child stealing and attempting a crime. He is being held in lieu of $50,000, according to jail records.

The 21-year-old mother of the 3-month-old infant had gone into the Golden Empire Market on West Empire Street in Grass Valley at about 2:30 p.m. Friday. She knew the clerk there and set the baby in its carrier on the counter near the clerk, Grass Valley Police Sgt. Joe Matteoni said.

The mother went to another area of the store not far away, keeping an eye on the child. The clerk got busy with other customers. At one point, the mother looked toward the child and saw it was gone, Matteoni said.

The mother saw Valdez holding the carrier and walking down an aisle. She called out to him, Valdez returned the baby in its carrier to the counter and walked out of the store, Matteoni said.

Police found Valdez on Empire Street near LeDuc Street and arrested him without incident, Matteoni said.


To contact City Editor Trina Kleist, e-mail or call 477-4230.

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