Michael Ikeler, 38, is charged with allegedly kidnapping a 2 year old girl on April 2, 2015, while her mother vacuumed her car at a Gardena car wash. The mother looked up to find that her child was gone. Ikeler allegedly sexually assaulted the toddler and dropped her out of his car a couple hours later in a parking lot outside a restaurant in Cudahy.
A woman testifying in Torrance Superior Court, Claudia Robles, stopped to cry for a minute while she recalled finding the girl abandoned and naked in a parking lot.
Robles said she spotted the girl as her boyfriend pulled into the parking lot to get dinner. Robles said she got out and took a photo because she felt like maybe the toddler had wandered off and she wanted to have evidence to build a child neglect case against the parents.
“I grabbed one of the blankets from the back of my car and I wrapped her up,” Robles said. “She just looked scared.”
After wrapping the girl in a blanket, Robles said she picked her up and cuddled her. “I kept talking to her, all she would say is ‘Mommy.’” Robles continued to hold the girl while paramedics arrived. Robles placed her on the ambulance bed and the paramedics took her to a hospital.
A second person testified to seeing a white Nissan Altima or Maxima pull into the parking lot driving erratically, back up near the trash dumpster, and dump what he thought was trash. Gardena police later found surveillance video from the car wash of a Nissan Altima leaving the car wash.
Ikeler, who allegedly owned such a car, was arrested a few days later following a tip to the police.
During the trial this week a DNA expert testified that semen found all over the girl’s body was allegedly Ikelers’, and two of his former wives said that they had found pornographic images of children on his computer while they were married to him years ago.
If you or someone you love is suspected of kidnapping or sexual assault, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477- 8088 for a consultation now.