A man previously convicted of sex offenses has been arrested in connection with the mid-day abduction of a 7-year-old girl on a south Sacramento street nearly a week ago.
Cedric Lain Holland, 25, was booked into Sacramento County Jail Thursday night on suspicion of kidnapping to commit another crime and violation of parole. He was taken into custody at his home on Sixth Avenue in Sacramento, about two miles from the location where the kidnapping occurred, said Sacramento County Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Jason Ramos.
A vehicle believed to have been used by Holland during the commission of the crime was also found at his residence and is being held for evidence.
The girl and her mother were walking near 54th Street and 47th Avenue about 1 p.m. May 11 when a man drove up and grabbed the child. He then forced her into the trunk before driving away.
A moment later, according to a sheriff's news release, the girl was able to escape when the trunk opened. The man drove away.
Christina Covey saw the girl drop from the trunk to the street in front of her house on 47th Avenue and initially thought the child had been the victim of a hit-and-run driver. But the child ran to Covey's husband saying, "He stole me. He stole me," recalled Covey, who expressed relief at the news of Holland's arrest.
"The little girl, she gave such a good description of the man," Covey said.
The Sheriff's Department on Monday released a sketch and description of the suspect. Although a booking photo of Holland was being withheld due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, Covey said she had seen a photo and was impressed how closely it matched the sketch.
Sheriff's officials said unspecified evidence from the scene was linked to Holland. Also, detectives believe that Holland "interacted" with the girl at a business the morning of the kidnapping.
Covey said she understood the suspect had tried unsuccessfully to lure the girl from an area clothing store, then followed the child and her mother when they left.
Earlier in the week, Sacramento police said they were trying to determine whether the suspect in the South Sacramento abduction was the individual who tried to lure an 11-year-old girl into a vehicle in the North Natomas area May 8. Ramos said investigators believe the two incidents are unrelated.
According to Sacramento Superior Court online records, Holland pleaded no contest in July 2006 to a charge of lewd and lascivious acts with a child younger than 14. He was sentenced to six years in the custody of the California Youth Authority. Court records also show that in December 2011 he pleaded no contest to failure to register as a sex offender and was sentenced to 16 months in state prison.
Ramos said Holland was on active parole, meaning he was being supervised by state parole officers, and was not on post-release community supervision, a status created under the prison realignment plan.
Covey said she felt more comfortable Friday knowing that the kidnapping suspect was in custody, but she said the incident has made area residents more wary. "More of my neighbors are aware," she said. "I'm more watchful."
The sheriff's department expressed its gratitude to the public for the many tips provided to law enforcement after media coverage.