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© Facebook PageRamy Amadea Gallego with mom Kristin Gallego
Knightsen, California -- The infant who was reported missing from her bassinet Sunday morning is back in Contra Costa County with her family after Sheriff's Deputies traveled to Southern California Monday morning to pick her up; her paternal grandmother has been arrested, charged in her abduction.

At around 8 a.m. Monday morning the El Monte Police Department in Southern California arrested the baby's grandmother, Ericka Gallego, 58, on felony charges. She is being held on $150,000 bail, no court date has been set yet.

The Contra Costa County District Attorney's office announced Monday evening that Ericka Gallego has been charged with one count of kidnapping which carries a maximum penalty of 11 years in prison if she is found guilty.

Sheriff's deputies got word that four-month-old Ramy Amadea Gallego was in Southern California. They, along with Ramy's parents Kristin and Rudy Gallego, traveled there Monday to retrieve the infant.

News10.net reported that parents and baby were reunited in El Monte, and that three people had been interviewed by police.

Friends and neighbors of the Gallego's said they believed the baby was taken to Southern California by her grandmother who came into the parents' bedroom in the middle of the night and removed her from her bassinet.

Contra Costa County Sheriff spokesman Jimmy Lee said, "Our detectives traveled to Southern California and have recovered the baby who is safe. She is with our detectives."

Bizarre abduction

It was a bizarre abduction, to say the least. Before leaving her home in Southern California and coming to Northern California, Ericka Gallego told her roommate and friends that she had given birth to a baby girl. When she returned home with the baby her roommate became suspicious.

Jaime Portugal said Ericka is his roommate in El Monte. Ericka told people she was pregnant and had just held a baby shower, he said. Ericka told people the baby was 2 ½ weeks old.

Portugal became suspicious something was wrong when the baby looked too mature to be a newborn. "She wasn't all there from the get-go," he said. "She was always a little off her rocker."

"It's a good feeling to know the baby's going back to her mother," he said.

A contractor and handyman from El Monte, Martin Jimenez, said he also knew Ericka and that he was suspicious about her claims she'd recently given birth. He went to a local Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Baldwin Park and was told they had no records of her giving birth.

He said he'd suggested previously that she should seek psychological help. He was concerned enough to call police.

Police actually had Ericka in custody Sunday night. Captain Steve Warne of the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office said, "Ericka was arrested late last night. Our detectives interviewed her and others in the early morning hours (of Monday). We haven't specifically established a motive. We consider this an act criminal in nature."

"Ericka Gallego never had permission to take Ramy from her house. We believe she snuck into the home without the parents' knowledge. The parents had no idea Erika was in the possession of their baby until we notified them," Warne said.

Warne described the bizarre circumstances of the abduction.

He said they learned Ericka traveled from El Monte via bus and taxi cab, made entry into the house, took the baby, and then took a taxi back to the Los Angeles area where she took baby Ramy to her home.

The baby's father, Rudy, told reporters he could not understand why his mother would do something like this. "She took my baby girl because, I guess, she wasn't mentally there anymore," said Rudy. "I believe she loves the baby. I don't believe she was going to harm her in any way. I just think she took a very big mental wrong turn."

The first time Ericka saw baby Ramy was on Mother's Day when she came up to visit. After the abduction the Gallegos' nanny said that Ericka had inquired about the codes for their front gate and door.

During the search for Ramy, Rudy said he had a feeling his mother was involved. "It was a gut feeling. You know your parents and my mom is quirky, but ... it just felt weird," he said.

Rudy appeared empathetic but at the end of the day said, "It's my child and you know what? You're going to be prosecuted just like anyone else."

The baby's mom, Kristin Gallego, praised sheriff's deputies for their quick work finding her infant, Mercury News reported Monday. "They just did a wonderful job," she said. "We're so grateful for their quickness."

Ramy had last been seen at her home in the 1500 block of Tule Lane in Knightsen late Saturday night. When her mother went to check on her at 6 a.m. Ramy was gone. The family has three older children. After searching the house for her baby, she called police at 6:20 a.m.

"The baby was in her bassinet, next to mom's bed and mom woke up at 6 o'clock in the morning and the baby was gone and the back door was open," said family friend Linda Matienza.

About 100 deputies and volunteers searched the residence and area with K9 units and helicopters.