Albino Estrada Montano, 60, was booked into Snohomish County Jail on Thursday for investigation of second-degree kidnapping, a felony. He and the girl were strangers, according to the arrest report.
Investigators do not yet know if the victim was physically or sexually assaulted, said Shari Ireton, spokeswoman for the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.
Elizabeth Harwood, 14, has autism and mental-health issues, and has the mental capacity of a 8-year-old, according to police. She went missing Wednesday after she left to ride her bike to a friend’s house.
Harwood was found in good physical health but remains bruised and upset, family friends said Friday. She is having trouble understanding and communicating what has happened.
Harwood’s family has long struggled to provide around-the-clock care to the girl and urged officials on Friday to provide more mental-health services for juveniles.
Estrada Montano has limited criminal history but got into trouble in the 1980s over allegations involving another young girl, court records show.
His arrest warrant this week was for a trespassing case out of Everett.
He reportedly met Harwood late Wednesday morning at a McDonald’s restaurant near her home in Snohomish.
He bought her soda and food and convinced her to get on a bus with him to Snohomish, according to her family and police. He then took her to a Lynnwood mobile home.
Harwood repeatedly asked him if she could go home but he refused, according to the arrest report. He allegedly asked her age but told police he didn’t believe her and thought she was 18.
Harwood was found about 8:20 a.m. Thursday when she was spotted by a Lynnwood Grocery Outlet employee who recognized her from news reports.
The girl said Estrada Montano reportedly had instructed her to tell anyone who asked that he was her grandfather.
The girl was taken to the hospital for an evaluation. She told investigators that Estrada Montano had forced her to take pills and threatened to punch her if she didn’t comply.
Investigators have not yet confirmed what kind of pills, Ireton said.
Ireton credited exhaustive search-and-rescue work and “community heroes” for finding Harwood and getting her to safety.
Two of Harwood’s family friends, Kandi Henson and Shelly Dana, spoke briefly to reporters after Friday’s court hearing.
Harwood is a kind and gifted girl, Dana said. Her family has been working with Compass Health for more than a year trying to get help with her care.
Estrada Montano was charged in Snohomish County Superior Court in 1986 with indecent liberties. Prosecutors alleged that he had on multiple occasions sexually touched an underage girl. The case was later dismissed due to insufficient information.
In the March 2014 trespassing incident, Estrada Montano was illegally sleeping on Fred Meyer property off the Bothell-Everett Highway, according to police. He failed to appear for multiple hearings in the case, a factor noted in his recent arrest report.
Court papers list his address as a homeless shelter in Everett.
At Friday’s hearing, Everett District Court Judge Tam Bui prohibited Estrada Montano from having any contact with minors should he manage to post bail.
Diana Hefley contributed to this report.
Rikki King: 425-339-3449; firstname.lastname@example.org.
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