Plea hearing continued for accused car thief, kidnapper

Maribel Mejia sits in the South County Courthouse for a plea

A plea hearing was continued Tuesday afternoon for Maribel
Mejia, 33, who is charged with car theft and the kidnapping of a
Morgan Hill infant May 31. Mejia is scheduled to appear at the
South County Courthouse at 1:30 p.m. Aug. 23.
Morgan Hill – A plea hearing was continued Tuesday afternoon for Maribel Mejia, 33, who is charged with car theft and the kidnapping of a Morgan Hill infant May 31. Mejia is scheduled to appear at the South County Courthouse at 1:30 p.m. Aug. 23.

Mejia surrendered to police July 11 and is one of two suspects – the other is her boyfriend Enrique Rocha, Morgan Hill police say – in the incident that sparked a statewide Amber Alert when 1-month-old Mariana Corona was taken during a car theft in the parking lot of a food pantry outside St. Catherine Church on Peak Avenue. Four hours after the theft and kidnapping, Corona was found alone and safe inside the abandoned vehicle in a Salinas park.

Mejia is charged with kidnapping, child endangerment, vehicle theft and possession of stolen property.

On June 1, police identified Mejia, of Chualar, and Rocha through surveillance footage after they used Maribel Corona’s stolen credit card. Rocha is still at-large and described as a Hispanic male, 5-foot-8-inches tall, with black medium length hair and brown eyes. He may still be driving the dark blue colored 1988 four-door Toyota Camry that was identified in surveillance video. The license plate number is 2HJD721 and both rear windows are covered with black duct tape.

Mejia walked into the police department with her mother July 11 to surrender on the $120,000 warrant. She spent her time hiding in Los Banos, Stockton and San Jose. Police believe Rocha has contacts in those cities and may return.

When she reported her infant daughter was missing, Maribel Corona told police she left her inside the parked vehicle for about five minutes while she went inside the St. Catherine Church food pantry on Peak Avenue to retrieve groceries. When she exited the building, the car and child were gone.

Anyone with information can call (408) 779-2101.

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