Colusa man reportedly abducted; trial on drug charges halted – updated
The trial of a man accused of several drug charges was halted on Sept. 29 after the Colusa defendant's parents claimed he was abducted from his home, the night before the second day of his jury trial.
As of Tuesday, the man was still missing.
"At this time, we have had no further leads and no tips," Colusa Chief of Police Ross Stark said.
Adan Vaca Garcia, 19, was on trial on charges of possession of methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine for sale, possession of stolen property, street terrorism, child endangerment, battery and a gang enhancement change.
Stark said there is "no known motive for the abduction," and there have been no ransom demands made.
Asked whether he believed Garcia was still alive, Stark replied, "We have nothing to indicate that he is not alive."
A mistrial was declared on the second day of the Colusa County Superior Court case when Judge Jeffery A. Thompson determined the it could not go forward without Garcia being present.
According to Colusa Deputy District Attorney Brendan Farrell, the case against Garcia will proceed if or when he is found. "Because the defendant's disappearance is of no fault of the prosecution, double jeopardy does not apply. ... Hopefully, he's OK and we find can find him."
The incident started around 10:15 p.m. Wednesday when Colusa police received a call that three masked, armed men had pulled up to a house and kidnapping a man on Allen Circle.
In court Thursday morning, Thompson held a hearing to determine whether the trial could continue without Garcia. The judge asked Garcia's attorney, Arturo A. Marquez of Marysville, if he knew of the defendant's whereabouts, and Marquez said he did not.
Prosecutors called three people to the stand to address the disappearance: Garcia's parents and Colusa Police Officer Juan Perez.
Maria and Jesus Garcia both claimed that after driving home from Taco Bell with their son, they were approached in front of their house by three masked men. One of those men was carrying a gun. The men wrestled and restrained Adan Garcia, and placed something over his head prior to taking him away, they testified. One of the men pointed a gun at Maria and Jesus Garcia, and threatened to kill them if they did not get on the ground, they testified.
"When I returned home, some people came out from somewhere. I don't know where ... I think there were three, because one of them grabbed (my son), one of them put something over his head, and one of them told me to get down on the ground or they would kill me," said Jesus Garcia through a court interpreter.
During questioning, Jesus Garcia claimed that he remained in the car while the incident occurred.
Maria Garcia explained: "My son got out first, then I got out. I went around the car — behind the car. (Adan Garcia) got out of the car quickly on the sidewalk. Three people jumped out and onto my son. They put something over his head. They told me to get on the ground or they would shoot me."
She also claimed that Jesus Garcia remained inside the vehicle during the abduction. When asked where her husband was when the incident occurred, she stated, "I believe he hunkered down in the car."
Perez provided the statements he took from Maria and Jesus Garcia on Tuesday night at their home.
Perez said Jesus Garcia said, "He got out of the car and got on the ground. After that he claimed he didn't see anything or hear anything."
Perez stated that he was also told that "all three exited the vehicle at the same time. One of three people pointed a shotgun at Jesus and Maria and told them to get on the ground."
Authorities tried to find Adan Garcia, but by 1:15 p.m. when court resumed, he was still missing and a mistrial was declared.