SANTA ANA, Calif. —
Garcia and the woman both worked for a janitorial company cleaning a building that houses some offices of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services.
The woman, whom police did not identify, told investigators she often thought about escaping but fear paralyzed her. She came to the United States illegally in 2004 and said Garcia used that to isolate her, telling her that her mother had given up searching and that if she contacted authorities, she would be deported.
Police said Garcia forced the woman to marry in 2007 and fathered a daughter with her who is now 3.
In April, the woman got in touch with her mother after finding her sister on Facebook to wish her a happy birthday, Bertagna said.
The mother showed the daughter old news articles to prove that she had gone to the police and filed a missing-persons report, Bertagna said.
“The mother was able to show her that she was, in fact, looking for her,” Bertagna said.
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