Tracy Abuse Case Suspect Found in Berkeley

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caren ramirez

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The woman who police say allegedly kidnapped and tortured her 17-year-old Tracy, Calif., nephew was arrested by Berkeley police in a College Avenue apartment late Tuesday.

The aunt-43-year-old Caren Ramirez-and two other adults have been arrested on charges of felony torture, kidnapping, child abuse and other charges in connection with the case, which has garnered national media attention.

The victim appeared at a Tracy gym Monday night after police say he escaped his captors. When he came to the gym he was bruised and had a chain around his ankle, police said.

The teen was allegedly chained and tortured in a Tracy garage for up to a year before he escaped and fled to the gym, police said. He was admitted to Sutter Tracy Community Hospital, but has now been released to the Sacramento County Child Protective Services Department.

Berkeley police arrested Ramirez without incident at about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday in an apartment on College near Parker Street. Tracy police received an anonymous tip that Ramirez was at the location and asked Berkeley police to investigate the residence.

Two Tracy residents-Kelly Lau, 30, and Michael Schumacher, 34-were also arrested Monday on charges of torture, kidnapping, false imprisonment, child endangerment and injuring a child. Police say they rented the home from which the boy escaped.

Matt Robinson, a spokesperson for Tracy police, said Ramirez knew she was wanted by police.

"She knew she was being sought after," he said. "So when officers came knocking at the door in Berkeley, she gave herself up."

Ramirez was booked into San Joaquin County Jail on charges of felony kidnapping, torture, child abuse and other charges. She was previously arrested for allegedly abusing the boy in 2007 and had a felony warrant out for her arrest, Robinson said.

Police said they are unsure what connection Ramirez has with Berkeley. They did not say how she knew the residents of the Berkeley apartment.

Robinson said detectives spoke with Ramirez for much of Wednesday to try to clarify the details of the case.

Angelica Dongallo of The Daily

Californian contributed to this report.


Will Kane is the city news editor. Contact him at [email protected]

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