3-year-old Kidnapped from Family's Home

Tuesday, May 5, 2009 - 12:18am

Federal and local authorities in San Bernardino, California, are searching for a 3-year-old boy reportedly kidnapped from his family's home by two gunmen.

A traumatized mother says two gunmen stormed into her home on Hadley Road Sunday afternoon, ransacked the house and kidnapped her son Briant Rodriguez.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department and the FBI have issued an amber alert, distributing photos of the boy to law enforcement throughout southern California and Mexico.

There are no road signs posted because police have no vehicle description.

Rosalina Mulan, who only speaks Spanish, told NBC affiliate KNBC through a translator the gunmen had walkie-talkies and were communicating in Spanish with at least two other men stationed outside the house.

They tied up Mulan and her five children as they searched the home.

"When the guy took them to the room, he put all the kids in front of her and tied them up with plastic tape, what is it, masking tape, and um, he was doing that, he said, 'I don't want you guys to look back. If you guys look back I'm going to shoot you,'" said Mulan to KNBC through a translator.

Briant's fourteen-year-old brother Benjamin says the gunmen appeared nervous as they spoke to each other over the radio.

"They said, he told them if someone comes up in a car or walking to the house to shoot at them," Benjamin said.

The family says the gunmen stole a small amount of cash and then announced they were taking the youngest child Briant, who they apparently mistook for a girl because of his long, curly hair.

"He picked up one of the kids, the little one, he said, 'I'm going to take the little girl,' because he had long hair, it's a boy but he has long hair, he said, 'I'm going to take him, I'm going to take him to Mexico and I'm going to kill him,'" said Mulan via translator.

The father wasn't home at the time. As soon as the gunmen left, one of the children, an eight-year-old boy was reportedly able to get himself free and untie the rest of the family. Then they called 911.

"The suspects were not known to the family so it's completely unknown why this family was targeted," said Jodi Miller of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

Briant is an Hispanic boy, three feet tall, weighing 40 pounds.

He has brown eyes and long, curly brown hair. He was wearing a yellow shirt, blue-striped shorts and black sandals when he was taken.