Local

New details revealed in murder, kidnap case in Merced County

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Court documents obtained by Action News give chilling new details about the murder of a Merced County mother and the kidnapping of her infant son. They also shed light on how detectives caught the accused killers.

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These documents include specific information about the investigation, including where detectives say the suspects were caught on camera holding the kidnapped baby boy.

Little Anthony Ceja Diaz is back where he belongs, safe in his father's arms. Luis Ceja says he's tried to stay strong for both his sons, but the loss of his wife has made that very difficult. "I am happy because I have my son, and my other son as well. But there's an emptiness that will never be filled again. This is the first Christmas without Ana. This year for me it wasn't really Christmas."

Ana Diaz De Ceja's burned body was found in an orchard near Snelling last month.

These court documents shed new light on the moments before and after her murder. According to the arrest warrant, detectives discovered the couple accused of killing Ana and kidnapping her son used an EBT card to buy baby items at a Walmart in Merced. Surveillance video from the store allegedly shows Teresa Robles and Jose Velarde holding an infant as they shopped. Investigators say the pair later confessed to abducting Anthony because Teresa had a miscarriage and they wanted a son to raise as their own. These documents also claim a witness told detectives Teresa offered him 1500 dollars to kidnap a baby for her in November, but he refused.

Ana first met Teresa while living at this labor camp in Planada. The documents state the women saw each other at this medical clinic the day before the murder and that Teresa claimed she was pregnant. But staff members said she was actually being treated for depression. The next day, detectives say Teresa lured Ana to her home where Jose strangled her while wearing latex gloves. This report says the couple confessed Ana fought for her life as Teresa held her baby boy. It also says the couple admitted to buying ten dollars worth of gasoline, driving to this orchard and setting Ana's body on fire. Detectives say days later, they dropped Anthony off on a doorstep in Le Grand because they were afraid they would get caught.

According to this report, Teresa said Jose insisted on leaving the baby on the doorstep naked because he was afraid any clothing could provide evidence against them.

Little Anthony did have hypothermia, but is now doing okay.

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Tags:
merced county, merced, snelling, legrand, kidnapping, local, sara sandrik
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