The suspect, Victor Ramirez, allegedly asked the son’s mother to date him, but she declined. According to KMSP-TV, the mother told authorities Ramirez was "very fond of her son, frequently gave them rides, bought him things, hugged him, and took photos with him." Ramirez reportedly posted and deleted photos of them on Facebook.
A restaurant manager provided a tip after seeing Ramirez with the boy at the business, KMSP reports. The manager also reportedly provided Ramirez’s phone number. According to KMSP, the mother called Ramirez and placed him on speakerphone as authorities listened. Ramirez reportedly seemed surprised that the boy was missing, and he claimed that he was on his way back from California.
On Thursday, March 17, at approximately 11:14 p.m., officers reportedly found Ramirez’s truck and pulled him over. The child was not with him, KMSP reports.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, Ramirez was arrested by Big Lake police officers after a brief struggle on probable cause kidnapping charges. Additional charges are reportedly expected.
At around 11:47 p.m., a woman reportedly found the boy in her garage in Zion Township in Stearns County. Officers responded to her home and found the boy, unharmed, KMSP reports. The Sheriff’s Office says the boy was transported to the St. Cloud Hospital for evaluation and is in the care of his mother.