Sunday, May 6, 2012

Man Kidnapped Niece in Charlotte who Escaped in Georgia; Suspect Captured in SC

Cristino Leon
Case Update:  May 06, 2012-  Troopers with the South Carolina Highway Patrol took Mr. Leon into custody tonight at about 7:00 p.m., during a traffic stop conducted in Spartanburg County.  The CMPD wishes to thank our fellow Law Enforcement Agencies in Georgia and South Carolina for their assistance throughout this investigation.
Detectives with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Homicide Unit, Missing Persons Unit and Youth and Family Services Unit are conducting an investigation into a kidnapping which occurred at 6421 Monroe Road in the Independence Division.  The call for service came in at 11:13am on Saturday, May 5, 2012.

CMPD Independence Division Officers responded to a kidnapping call and met with the mother of one of the victims, Guillermina Leon.  Ms. Leon stated that she left for work around 6:40am and when she returned home, she found her sister, Clementina Leon, tied up with duct tape. Guillermina Leon stated that her 12-year old daughter was missing from the apartment.  Clementina Leon stated she was at home sleeping when her brother, Cristino Leon, came into her room and was trying to tie her up with duct tape.  She attempted to fight him, but he successfully tied her up with the duct tape. Clementina Leon said that Cristino Leon threatened to take her, but he didn’t. Clementina Leon remained tied up for a couple of hours but was eventually able to break free from the duct tape. While she was tied up, Cristino Leon left the apartment with her niece.

During the course of the investigation, detectives determined that Cristino Leon was in Jefferson, Georgia. The Jefferson Police Department were contacted and they advised that they were currently out with a female who stated she had been kidnapped. CMPD Communications confirmed that the female victim was the 12-year old daughter of Guillermina Leon, niece of both Clementina Leon (adult victim) and Cristino Leon (suspect).

The 12-year old victim was able to escape when Cristino Leon stopped to eat at Exit 137 off I-85 in Jefferson, Georgia.  She jumped out the car and ran to a woman for help. That woman called 911 and alerted authorities. Missing Persons detectives and personnel with Youth and Family Services coordinated the return of the 12-year old victim with authorities in Georgia.

Two Warrants for Kidnapping were issued for the arrest of Cristino Leon. He has yet to be taken into custody. The Violent Criminal Apprehension Team is actively working this case to determine his whereabouts and take him into custody. We are coordinating the investigation with the assistance of the FBI.

Crime Scene Search responded to the call for service to process the scene and collect physical evidence. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call 704-432-TIPS and speak directly to a Homicide Unit Detective. Detective Grande is the lead detective assigned to the case. In addition, you may also call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.