California Woman Escapes New Boyfriend Who Allegedly Held Her Captive For About A Month
A California woman escaped captivity after authorities say her boyfriend detained her against her will and tortured her for several weeks.
On Saturday, officials from the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Office arrested 29-year-old Saul Ortega after allegedly kidnapping and torturing his new girlfriend, according to a press release. The victim, a 25-year-old woman from Modesto, who is not named, said Ortega held her against her will for about a month.
Stanislaus County Sheriff's Sgt. Erich Layton told Oxygen.com that the couple had only been together for a short time.
"It sounds like they've been seeing each other for about two months," Layton said.
Representatives from the Fresno County Sheriff's Office contacted Stanislaus County at around 1:30 am and asked the authorities to conduct a social check. According to MPs, they found the victim after escaping Ortega on Thursday.
"She had already escaped and was in a safe place when she called the sheriff's office in Fresno," Layton told Oxygen.com. "That was to check on her family members because Mr. Ortega had threatened her and other family members of her."
According to the sheriff's office, the victim was transported to a nearby hospital, where he was treated for "extensive" physical injuries.
Sgt. Layton alleged some of the victim's injuries were "very gruesome" and cited respect for the victim and the ongoing investigation as reasons they withheld detailed information.
"She had essentially head to toe injuries," Layton told Oxygen.com. "She had severe burn marks all over her body. It appears that Mr. Ortega used various objects ... that he would use to heat her up and burn her."
According to the press release, investigators from the Crimes Against Person Unit took over the case with the help of the SWAT team, the Special Investigation Unit, the Crime Scene Investigation Unit and the Unmanned Aerial System Team.
The Stanislaus County Sheriff's Office released a video of Ortega's capture when the team arrived at Ortega's residence around 8:45 a.m. to serve an arrest warrant in their press release. Authorities arrested Ortega and an elderly woman who was arrested but later released after working with investigators.
Layton told Oxygen.com that the woman who was briefly taken into her care is Ortega's mother.
Authorities said there was "reason to believe Ortega may have made other victims".
Layton confirmed this with Oxygen.com.
"Not during the same period that this particular victim was being held against her will, but maybe there were other cases of this type ... before this incident happened to other women," Layton said. "At one point several statements were made by various people that led investigators to believe that there might be other victims."
Stanislaus County Sheriff Jeff Dirske posted on Facebook about Ortega's arrest.
“Our hearts are with the victims of this heinous crime,” said Dirske. "But I'm proud of the work the team did to arrest [the] suspect!"
According to the press release, Ortega was arrested for kidnapping, wrongful imprisonment, rape, torture, assault, domestic violence, criminal threat, possession of cocaine for sale and possession of a firearm. He is being held at the Stanislaus County Public Safety Center on $ 1 million bail.
Anyone with information about Ortega and other potential victims is urged to contact Detective D. Gonzalez at (209) 595-8686 or Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636.
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