PATTERSON (CBS13) – When describing what happened to Beverly Guerra and her family on Wednesday, she could muster up just a few words on what happened at her apartment on S. Third Street in Patterson on Wednesday night.
"It was just crazy," Guerra said. "I was going to sleep in my room. I just seen this lady holding my daughter and she asked my kid who was she."
Guerra said that her daughter had no idea who the woman was.
"She said that she let herself in," Guerra said. "She thought that she was trying to help us because she heard the babies crying. And then, I asked my kid what happened and she said that the lady was telling her to go outside with her, to go home with her."
Maria Gutierrez, 23 (credit: Stanislaus County Sheriff's Office)
The Stanislaus County Sheriff's Office told CBS13 that deputies were called out at around 10:15 p.m. that night for some kind of altercation between the people who live there and the suspect, who was later identified as 23-year-old Maria Gutierrez. The sheriff's office said it believes Gutierrez to be homeless.
Sgt. Erich Layton told CBS13 that the suspect had fled the scene as deputies arrived and found out more about this bizarre chain of events. Deputies then went to a known homeless encampment in the area and spoke to someone who matched Gutierrez's description.
The woman then told deputies that she was, in fact, Gutierrez.
"[She] admitted she was at that residence, and also admitted that when she was at that residence, she was under influence of both drugs and alcohol and that she did speak with the children and she was in the home," Layton said.
Layton said that Gutierrez was arrested and is facing charges of attempted kidnapping and burglary.
He also told CBS13 there were conflicting reports that the children were home all alone at the time of the incident. But Guerra said that they were not.
"We were here in the backyard. They just got done playing in the pool, and they came inside because they were cold," Guerra said. "And all of a sudden, I don't know [if] they were fighting for what, but when I came in, I just seen that lady in my living room."
It was a troubling situation with a strong message for any parent.
"I think it's a good reminder of being aware of your surroundings, of who's in your neighborhoods, keeping your children close by," Layton said.
The Stanislaus County Sheriff's Office told CBS13 that there's no information at this time as to why the kids were potentially left home alone – if that was the case. It added that the line of questioning for the parents focused on the break-in and attempted kidnapping.
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