Suspect arrested in abduction of Mundelein 3-year-old - FOX 10 News |

Suspect arrested in abduction of Mundelein 3-year-old

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Photo courtesy of Mundelein Police. Photo courtesy of Mundelein Police.
Photo courtesy of Mundelein Police. Photo courtesy of Mundelein Police.
MUNDELEIN, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

A Chicago man has been charged with abducting a 3-year-old north suburban girl on Monday, then returning her a short time later.

Jose E. Reyes, 28, of the 4900 block of West North Avenue was taken into custody Wednesday night and charged Thursday with felony counts of aggravated kidnapping (Class X), kidnapping and unlawful restraint, according to a statement from Mundelein police.

He is being held in the Lake County Jail on a $5 million bond, Pioneer Press is reporting.

Mundelein police Chief Eric Guenther said he spoke to the victim and her mother Thursday, and the girl is doing well, but police are awaiting results of medical tests on the toddler.

"She is at home, and she is in good condition," Guenther said, adding that her family felt a "wonderful sense of relief" after learning of the arrest.

Neither police nor prosecutors could answer why Reyes took the girl, or returned her. Reyes did not appear to have any connections to the victim, the chief said. "The incident appears to be random."

Police identified Reyes' vehicle from surveillance cameras located in the apartment complex and determined it was a 2007 black Hyundai Accent. Witnesses provided partial license plate information and police searched state records, which led to Reyes.

The abduction occurred about 5:30 p.m. Monday near the entrance to a condominium complex at 555 Deepwoods Dr. in Mundelein, according to a statement from Mundelein police.

The male suspect had been seen earlier in the day handing out candy to children in the area, police said. He was also reported to be in the area the day before.

Before the abduction, the girl was walking with her mother and older sister to a building in the condo complex. When the mother went ahead, the man pulled up in a car and had a "brief conversation" with the children before grabbing the 3-year-old, Guenther said.

Witnesses saw the car drive away toward Route 45, Guenther said, but about 30 minutes later, a resident saw the girl running in one of the complex parking lots, he said.

"A private citizen's security camera caught him going into the complex and dropping the girl off 30 minutes later in a rear parking lot," he said.

The victim's sister and an adult female witness also helped police create a sketch of the suspect, which Guenther said is "a wonderful comparison."

Although Reyes lives in Chicago, he works in Libertyville, according to the Lake County State's Attorney's office.

He refused to provide a DNA sample voluntarily after being arrested, but authorities obtained a warrant allowing them to perform the test, prosecutors said. Further charges could be filed depending on what those tests reveal.

"It's too early to speculate what charges might be added at this point," Guethner said.

The suspect has prior arrests for burglary and assault, Mundelein Deputy Chief John Monahan said.

Should Reyes post bond, the judge prohibited him from contacting the victim, her family, or any children under 18; and he is not to come within 500 feet of the crime scene at Deepwoods Drive.

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