Man said his granddaughter was kidnapped for human trafficking, but police say he left her with homeless woman to visit bar

News & Politics

California police have arrested a man after he allegedly made a false report that his granddaughter had been missing when he had intentionally left her with a homeless woman in order to visit a bar.

The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office said officers were called to the parking lot of a bar in Sacramento on Monday at about 7:45 p.m. A man told people that he was looking for his 7-year-old granddaughter because she had been kidnapped for human trafficking.

“She could have been left with … someone who doesn’t really care.”

Police said that the man was “highly intoxicated” and identified him as 54-year-old Jason Warren.

Warren reportedly told police he had paid a homeless woman to take his granddaughter to a thrift store and then went to a bar. Police said he was at the bar for about four hours.

Deputies were able to find surveillance video of the woman leaving with the child.

The woman brought the girl back to the parking lot after she heard from a helicopter loudspeaker that they were searching for her.

Police said the homeless woman confirmed that Warren had paid her $20 to take the child to the thrift store. She also said that Warren appeared to be too intoxicated to take care of a girl, so she decided to take her to her camp to get some food.

KXTV-TV spoke to the homeless woman who was identified as Lauren Jope.

“I was just walking down the street, and this guy asked me, ‘Can you go in the store with my daughter to buy a pair of shorts?'” she said.

Police said that the 7-year-old girl confirmed the story given by the homeless woman, and she did not appear to be in distress. She was also medically cleared.

Investigators found that the girl’s aunt had full custody of her but that she had left the child with the grandfather because the aunt had to go to work. Police released custody of the girl to the aunt.

“I’m glad that I was walking when I was, because, she could have been left with some man, or someone who doesn’t want to watch her, or something like that, someone who doesn’t really care,” said Jope.

Warren was arrested and charged with felony child endangerment as well as other charges and is being held at the Sacramento County Main Jail on $75,000 bail.

Here’s the news report about the incident:

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