SAN JOSE -- Police have released a sketch of a woman they are seeking in connection with the kidnapping of a baby Monday morning that touched off an intense manhunt that riveted the Bay Area and ended with the safe return of the infant girl.
Police on Tuesday said robbery detectives are looking for a Latina woman between 38 and 45 years old, 5 feet 5 inches tall, 160 pounds, with a dark complexion, dark hair pulled back into a lower bun, last seen wearing a dark, possibly suede, tight-fitting jacket and dark pants.
Gabriella Quintero, 11 months old and a few days shy of her first birthday, was in the back seat of a Jeep Liberty that was idling in the driveway of a home on Amador Drive in East San Jose at 6:43 a.m. when, in between trips by her mother to load the car, someone jumped into the vehicle and drove off.
Both the mother and a witness reported seeing the woman depicted in the sketch near the home shortly before the car was stolen.
A massive police response ensued, and dozens of officers were joined by a police helicopter, specialized units and other county agencies. A stretch of Highway 101 was briefly closed during the search.
The ordeal came to a happy ending about five hours later when a resident phoned police after spotting the SUV across town in a private driveway off Buckeye Drive near Andrew Hill High School. Gabriella was still inside the now-abandoned car and was deemed healthy after being examined at the hospital where she was reunited with her mother, and the search continued for whoever took her.
Anyone with knowledge about the suspect's whereabouts or information about the case can contact San Jose robbery detectives Enrique Garcia or Jesus Mendoza at 408-277-4166, or leave a tip with Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers at 408-947-STOP (7867) or tipsubmit.org.
Contact Robert Salonga at 408-920-5002. Follow him at Twitter.com/robertsalonga.