The suspect in the kidnapping of a 9-year-old girl was found Friday afternoon, just a few hours after the girl escaped.
Jose Garcia, 29, was arrested just after 1 p.m. Friday near the city bus station in downtown Colorado Springs. Police say he was arrested without incident.
"We spotted him...came and contacted him...he was identified as the person we were looking for," authorities said at a press conference Friday afternoon.
Garcia faces a number of charges, including second-degree kidnapping. He is being held at the Pueblo County Jail on a $250,000 bond.
Garcia's ex-girlfriend says police were already searching for Garcia prior to Calysta Cordova's disappearance. Garcia allegedly picked up his ex's daughter the day before Calysta's disappearance, and sexually assaulted her. The district attorney will likely file charges related to this case Monday.
Calysta went missing at approximately 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, when she was last seen at Columbian Elementary in Pueblo.
11 News has learned Calysta may have known her kidnapper; Garcia reportedly is a former neighbor.
Police say that the vehicle Calysta and her kidnapper, now believed to be Garcia, were riding in got a flat tire Friday morning. A man, thinking he was being a Good Samaritan, gave the pair a ride to the Circle K.
Officers confirmed that a gray truck found on Woodmen and Fawn Meadow, tires shredded, was the suspect's vehicle.
A witness inside the Circle K tells 11 News that the suspect and Calysta--badly beaten and looking scared--went inside a Circle K on Woodmen and Commerce Center. Calysta told the clerk she wanted to call her uncle--and instead called 911.
Calysta then started yelling "I'm not going anywhere with you, I'm waiting on my mama." The suspect, realizing what was going on, bolted.
Authorities spent the next few hours searching for Garcia. Four nearby schools were placed on secure building status during the manhunt. One school, Woodmen Roberts Elementary, was just a couple of blocks away from where the suspect's truck broke down.
Though witnesses at the Circle K say Calysta had two black eyes, a cut lip, and a bruised cheek, authorities say she was able to return home from the hospital Friday night.
Calysta's relieved parents expressed their gratitude at the outpouring of support while their daughter was missing.
"It's a feeling you don't even know. Thank you Pueblo...thank you everybody for all your support. My baby is coming home," stepfather Steven Ryno said.
A spokesman with the FBI praised Calysta for her quick thinking.
"Calysta...is a hero...did a tremendous job saving her own life."
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