PASADENA >> Officials Saturday arrested a Pasadena man at the Nevada border who they had been seeking for holding his ex-girlfriend captive for nearly two days while physically and sexually assaulting her, as well as trying to extort her for money, authorities said.
California Highway Patrol officers found and captured Jorge Arturo Ruiz, 42, of Pasadena, about 1:30 a.m. Saturday, “just prior to crossing the state line into Nevada on the Interstate 15 Highway,” Pasadena police officials said in a written statement.
Also arrested was 36-year-old Marta Valladares of Los Angeles, who was accompanying Ruiz at the time of his arret, and 30-year-old Christine Yerikian of Los Angeles, who was arrested Friday in Los Angeles County, according to police and Los Angeles County booking records.
The women are accused of aiding and abetting Ruiz, as well as destruction of evidence and helping Ruiz avoid arrest.
Police first learned of the alleged crimes just after midnight Friday.
“A resident of the 100 block of North Raymond Avenue reported to the Pasadena Police Department that a female had run out of an apartment, where she states she had been held against her will and physically and sexually assaulted,” according to the statement.
The woman was taken to a hospital for treatment of “severe contusions” to her head, face and body, police said. The injuries were not considered life-threatening.
Investigators determined Ruiz had held the woman captive for one-and-a-half to two days while carrying out the assaults and trying to extort money from her, Sgt. Schuyler Sandeen said. The sergeant declined to discuss details of alleged the extortion plot.
The suspect — later identified as Ruiz — fled from the area on foot before police arrived. Pasadena police partnered with the U.S. Marshals Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force in search of Ruiz.
CHP officers spotted Ruiz’s “wanted” vehicle about 1:30 a.m. Saturday, just before it crossed into Nevada, officials said.
They took Ruiz and Valladares into custody without a struggle, Sandeen said. Valladares’ two children, ages 3 and 7, were also in the vehicle and were turned over to the custody of the County of Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services, Sandeen said.
All three suspects were taken back to Pasadena to be booked into jail.
Ruiz, who is accused of crimes including confining a person for the purpose of extortion, physical assault and sexual assault, was being held in lieu of $1.05 million bail pending his initial court appearance, officials said.
Valladares was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail, while Yerikian was released from jail Saturday pending her court appearance after posting $100,000 bail.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Pasadena police Detective Robin Stinson at 626-744-7099. During weekends and evening hours, the Pasadena Police Department watch commander can be reached at 626-744-4620. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.