On Sunday, as her parents slept nearby, a 4-year-old Pennsylvania girl was taken from the family’s home by a stranger in the middle of the night and sexually assaulted, PEOPLE confirms.
The girl’s suspected assailant is now in custody.
“This crime is every parent’s nightmare,” Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan said in a statement. “A monster comes out of the night, abducts your child and sexually assaults her. This is proof that evil exists in this world.”
Hogan said the alleged perpetrator, 35-year-old Humberto Guzman-Garcia, was unknown to the victim’s family before the attack, though authorities don’t know “whether he had observed the victim earlier in the day and followed her to the family’s residence.”
Because of the “bold and brazen” nature of the abduction, Hogan said, law enforcement is concerned that there could have been prior victims. Anyone with information about Guzman-Garcia is urged to call the police.
Guzman-Garcia faces charges of with false imprisonment of a minor, kidnapping, criminal attempt-rape of child, aggravated indecent assault of child, unlawful restraint/serious bodily injury and aggravated assault.
According to prosecutors, he allegedly knocked on the front door of the victim’s Avondale apartment in the middle of the night on Sunday.
The little girl, whose bedroom was adjacent to the entryway, slightly opened the door but the top latch was still secure. Guzman-Garcia was able to pop open the latch and grab the child.
Her father told police that he and his wife woke up around 3:30 a.m. and realized that their daughter was missing. He walked outside and spotted the child with a “man wearing a yellow shirt and baseball cap holding her behind a shed approximately 50 yards from the entrance to victim’s apartment building,” according to a criminal complaint obtained by PEOPLE.
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The girl’s father attempted to apprehend and question Guzman-Garcia but he quickly fled the scene, the complaint states.
Police soon found Guzman-Garcia hiding in a disabled vehicle in the parking lot of the apartment complex. He allegedly admitted to taking the child from her residence and assaulting her and told police that he did not know the victim or her parents.
The child reportedly later said, “A monster took me.”
Neighbor Dawn Clark told local TV station WPVI that Guzman-Garcia had knocked on her door just hours earlier.
“About one o’clock he was messing with the door handle to my apartment and I happened to look out the peephole and I seen him,” she said. “You could see he was drunk, and he just left.”
Guzman-Garcia is being held in lieu of $500,000 bail in the Chester County Prison.
It is unclear if he has entered a plea. His public defender could not be reached for comment on Friday.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 22.
Anyone with information about Guzman-Garcia is asked to call Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Stefano Gallina at 610-268-2022.
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