District Attorney Files New Kidnapping Charge in San Jose Baby Brandon Case

Prosecutors have revealed for the first time what they believe was the motive behind April’s kidnapping of baby Brandon in San Jose.

The update comes as the Santa Clara County district attorney added a fourth charge of attempted kidnapping against the two defendants. The additional charge was filed during a preliminary hearing Monday against suspects Yesenia Ramirez and Jose Portillo.

The two defendants were due back in court Tuesday, and the child’s mother and grandmother are expected to testify.

The kidnapping of baby Brandon made national headlines in April. The infant was taken from inside his home as his grandmother was unloading groceries.

Police said surveillance video showed a man walking away from the apartment and holding Brandon in a baby carrier. The next day police rescued the child at another apartment 5 miles away.

Portillo and Ramirez, a church acquaintance of Brandon’s grandmother, were also arrested.

“It’s an interesting addition,” Cody Salfen, a lawyer representing Ramirez, said of the extra charge the DA filed. “But it’s not a surprise given they’ve added these attempted charges along the way.”

The prosecutor said she will not comment on the case until after the preliminary hearing in a couple of days.

A possible motive the DA might try to use for the kidnapping was also revealed Monday.

San Jose police officer Eduardo Reyes testified that he interviewed a man named Francisco Marquez, and that Ramirez had told him she was pregnant with his child.

The officer said it apparently was all part of an elaborate ruse so when Ramirez produced baby Brandon, she could claim the kidnapped child was the baby she had with Marquez.

“Obviously that individual, based on what the officer testified to, was under the impression that he fathered multiple children with Ms. Ramirez,” Salfen said.

Court records show the new man in the bizarre case, Marquez, has a long and sometimes violent criminal rap sheet.

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