SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (KABC) --A 2-year-old girl was safely back in her father's arms Tuesday night after surviving a terrifying ordeal.
At a trailer park northeast of Santa Clarita, Yesly Jimenez and her siblings were being cared for by their grandfather while their parents went shopping Monday night. But a stranger suddenly burst through an open door.
"A man came into the motor home with a knife and he just grabbed my daughter from my dad and he was going to stab my dad," mother Cristal Jimenez said.
The man also attempted to kidnap the toddler's 11-year-old brother, Jacob. He said he thought the man was going to kill his little sister after he grabbed her.
Residents called the police while Yesly's grandfather followed the man and saw him take her into his mobile home. Minutes later, a woman in a neighboring trailer said he banged on her door, yelling for his wife.
"I says, 'What wife? You don't have a wife,' and he then he goes, 'Well, I've got the baby.' And he says, 'If I kill her - it's your fault,'" Beth Bates said.
Deputies arrived, rescued Yesly and arrested 40-year-old Thomas Dillingham. Neighbors said the suspect had only lived in the trailer park for a short time and exhibited strange behavior. He was seen at times trying to peek into people's windows.
The toddler was examined at the hospital. Her relieved parents said she was fine.
"Thank god the police came quick, and they took my baby away from him," father Nilson Jimenez said.