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Charges: West-central Minn. kidnapping came after repeated stalking

Cesar Octavia Garcia-Gonzalez

WILLMAR, Minn. — One day before he would be accused of kidnapping his estranged wife from her workplace, court documents say Cesar Octavia Garcia-Gonzalez sent the woman flowers and a note.

He "would wait for her," the note said. He "loved her," and was "sorry about the way he has made her feel."

Their next communication would turn violent. The woman was leaving her Willmar workplace early Wednesday when Garcia-Gonzalez drove in front of her with the passenger side window down.

When she refused to get in the car, authorities say, Garcia-Gonzalez backed onto the sidewalk and pulled forward, hitting the woman with the front of the car. Then, he allegedly forcibly lifted the woman into the back seat.

Garcia-Gonzalez, 38, of Cosmos, was charged Friday, March 3, in Kandiyohi County District Court with two counts of felony kidnapping, felony second-degree assault, felony threats of violence, gross misdemeanor stalking and interference with a 911 call, and two counts of misdemeanor domestic assault.

The criminal complaint filed with the charges details a fast-moving chain of events, during which the woman said she feared for her life.

Laying down inside the back of the vehicle, around 6:30 a.m., the woman attempted a frantic call to local police, describing a black vehicle before abruptly hanging up. Police believed she sounded scared or hysteric. But when they attempted to call back, there was no answer.

Meanwhile, charges say Garcia-Gonzalez took the phone away and threw it out the driver's side window. He reportedly handled a knife and threatened to kill himself, holding it to his stomach and neck.

Police traced the phone to the woman and learned where she worked in Willmar. There they discovered a single women's athletic shoe, and a fresh set of tire tracks over the grass. Police set a plaster of the tire tracks at the scene for investigation.

Police also discovered that the woman owned a mid-sized black vehicle. This matched with her brief description during the 911 call.

Meanwhile, Garcia-Gonzalez reportedly drove the woman to his Cosmos residence, picked up two children, and drove the woman to the Hutchinson Regional Medical Center emergency room.

He allegedly told the woman to tell hospital staff that she had fallen down while walking home from work. In reality, she had an injured knee and bruised thigh from the blunt force of the vehicle, according to the criminal complaint.

While alone with hospital staff, she told them to call her place of residence to tell individuals there where she was.

Shortly before 10 a.m., a drug and gang task force officer located the black vehicle near Hutchinson and stopped it. Both the woman and Garcia-Gonzalez were inside. Garcia-Gonzalez was arrested.

Inside the vehicle, authorities found bloody clothing with dirt and grass stains, as well as a single women's athletic shoe, clothing the woman said she had been wearing when she was abducted.

Garcia-Gonzalez has no criminal history other than minor traffic violations. But the charges allege this wasn't the first police call related to Garcia-Gonzalez.

Charges say the woman called police in January about Garcia-Gonzalez looking for her. A few days later, law enforcement received a report that a black vehicle was slowly driving around the woman's place of residence, looking through windows and shining lights on a camera.

Judge Bruce Christopherson set unconditional bail at $100,000, and conditional bail at $20,000. He issued a Domestic Abuse No Contact Order, a restraining order designated for domestic matters.

The next hearing for Garcia-Gonzalez is set for March 13.