Friday, March 2, 2007


Kidnapped Girl, Family Struggle To Recover
POSTED: 7:50 pm PDT June 6, 2003
UPDATED: 5:02 pm PDT June 13, 2003

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Roselia Tamayo and her family moved from the rough side of town to a tidy block of two-car garages, bougainvillea and rose bushes just two months before her 9-year-old daughter was abducted from their new home.
Like many heads of first-generation families who immigrate to Silicon Valley, Tamayo sought a new neighborhood with superior schools, fewer gangs, safer streets.Instead, tragedy found the family.
It has only been a week since a man forced his way into their home, beat Tamayo's 15-year-old son, bashed the mother with a metal pan and kidnapped her daughter for two days. Now, Tamayo says she must move again.
"We want to start a new life in another place," Tamayo, 31, said this week in front of the manicured ranch home she began renting in April. "We thought this neighborhood was more safe, less ugly. But she could not have a normal life if we stayed here."
Some experts on child violence say moving on -- despite working so hard to get there -- might offer the family the best chance at rebuilding their lives.
"Recovering is more complicated when the crime involves familiar aspects -- like when someone is held hostage in her own home," said David Finkelhor, director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire.
"They'll associate home with terror. The house itself and the neighborhood will have some reminders for her."
Paula S. Fass, a University of California, Berkeley professor and author of "Kidnapped: Child Abduction in America," said children are surprisingly resilient and often recover from horrendous crimes -- the girl was allegedly raped repeatedly -- if they have full family support.
She said maintaining family unity is more important than abandoning the crime scene, and the family shouldn't necessarily leave the house, which is close to the girl's father, who is divorced from her remarried mother.
Still, Fass said, she can understand the urge to leave.
"If they had been here for a long time, moving would be a terribly wrenching situation, taking her from her friendships and other relationships," Fass said. "But they've only been here for a short time, so maybe moving could work."

Jennette walked into an east Palo Alto convenience store a couple days after her abduction. Her detailed description enabled police to arrest the suspect just a few hours later, also not far from her home. After some reports that the man used at least three aliases, mainly Enrique Alvarez, writer Michelle Malkin confirmed that the kidnapper is indeed an illegal alien.

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