The Tracy women who helped rescue a missing 12-year-old girl say they
figured out who she was from seeing a televised Amber Alert.
Looking grimy and hungry, the missing girl and the man accused of taking
her were at a Tracy hardware store Thursday evening looking for new
clothes. A woman who worked in the store called her daughters to come
Sherry Lopez and her sister Sheena Pelayo (shown above) took the girl and
21-year-old Jose Tomas to their home. At first they thought the two were
a brother and sister who had just arrived in the U.S. from Mexico.
Lopez and Pelayo bought food and shoes for the pair, offered clothing,
and even cut the girl’s hair. However, then they say television news
reports and realized the young man and the girl were possibly the same
two people who disappeared from a south Stockton home Wednesday
afternoon. Tomas and the girl also watched the reports but did not react.
The sisters then checked an Amber Alert website and asked the girl if she
was the one in the alert. The girl said she was, so they took her to the
Tracy Police Department. Police returned to the apartment to arrest
Tomas, who finally admitted his identity. The girl was examined at a
local hospital and placed in protective custody.
Tomas is charged with child abduction and lewd acts with a child. He is
scheduled to be arraigned in Stockton next Tuesday. The 12-year-old girl
will remain protective custody until police make sure it is safe for her
to return to her home.