The Nine Year Old Daughter Was Captured Then She Used True Crime Skills From Favorite TV Show to Manipulate Her Captor

The tragic case of Jeannette Tamayo

Image by fxquadro — on

Rosalie wildly ran behind a car that had her daughter.

Her face was heavily wounded and covered in blood, but she was still alive. Meanwhile, Paul also painfully limped not far behind her. He waved his arm in the air. He screamed for the bystanders to help.

Help! Help! Help! Call the police!

Call the police!

The Phone Call to Little Caesars

Cashier: This is Little Caesars Pizza. How can I help you?

On July 8th, 2003, a Little Caesar’s cashier in San Jose received a pizza order.

A little girl spelled out the letters of her address one by one. Little did she know that the girl behind the phone was being forced to call. Soon enough, the pizza delivery was on its way.

A man came downstairs to collect the pizza. But when he made his way up, he had something else in his hands—a missing girl’s flyer. He turned to the girl in the room.

“I have to get rid of you tonight.” He told her.

Soon, the San Jose police received a 911 call from a cashier who stated that the missing little girl was right in front of him. Her name was Jeannette Tamayo.

Jeannette was only nine.

The police rushed to the scene. One of the officers talked to Jeannette. And she began pulling out things from her pockets—toys, underwear, a watch, etc. The police asked Jeannette if she had anything else that could help them catch her abductor. Jeannette asked for a sheet of paper.

She wrote down his address. Then she wrote his exact phone number.

The police managed to track down and arrest Jeannette’s kidnapper that very day with Jeannette’s help. They found the suspect, David Montiel Cruz, hiding in the attic.

How Jeannette Was Abducted

Jeannette Tamayo — image from

On June 6th, 2003, it was a quiet day in the city of San Jose, California, USA.

Jeannette got off her school bus and headed home. Their screen door was slightly open. And she thought her mother was already back from work.

Jeannette went inside the house and straight to her room. Her bedroom window was smashed. And there was broken glass everywhere. Jeannette ran for the phone, but the cable was cut off. Then she heard someone knocking.

There, at the front, was a strange man.

So, she reluctantly opened the door.

The man began asking Jeannette questions while peeking inside. Jeannette was getting uncomfortable, so she slowly closed the door. But the man put his hand in the way.

He slid the door open, grabbed Jeannette, and took her to her brother’s room. He threw her on the bed, took off her pants, and raped her. Then he handcuffed her and tied her legs together.

He then carried her to his car, parked in the garage. As the man opened his door, another car pulled over in front of the garage. Jeannette’s brother, Paul, got into the garage. Paul realized what was happening. He grabbed a screwdriver and charged at the strange man.

But the man disarmed Paul.

And he punched Paul in the face over and over. Then he dragged him inside the house.

The two came face to face with Rosalie, Jeannette’s mother. She fought the man and successfully separated him from her son. Paul then rushed towards the kitchen cabinet and pulled out a frying pan. He tried to attack the man with it. But the man disarmed him again.

He used the pan to strike Rosalie until she fell to the ground.

Rosalie screamed.

Then everything went quiet. The attacker ran to his car and drove off like a madman. Meanwhile, Rosalie had gotten up, and she ran after the car. Paul followed behind, screaming for help.

“Call the police! Call the police!” He yelled.

The Police Arrived at the Crime Scene

The authorities soon arrived at Jeannette’s home.

They rushed both Rosalie and Paul to the nearest hospital. The police had no leads except for a very blurry security camera video that captured the attacker. And the media was alerted about the kidnap.

The search for Jeannette immediately began. Flyers of her face flooded the city.

Meanwhile, the attacker took Jeannette to his house. He carried her inside and locked the door. Jeannette found herself in a small room with a TV, a little window, a bed, and a bathroom.

Jeannette was assaulted by the man for days.

How Jeannette Manipulated Her Captor

Then Jeannette decided to use the true crime skills from her favorite TV shows, CSI, Law and Order, and The Detectives, to manipulate her captor into trusting her.

Jeannette tried to gain the man’s trust by asking him general questions. Jeannette also noticed that the handcuffs were mechanical and didn’t require any key. So she often released herself from them.

Then she remembered that the detectives on the true crime shows would always require evidence material. So Jeannette grabbed the man’s watch, a toy, and her underwear.

Upon hearing the man’s footsteps, she would jump back on the bed and put back the handcuffs.

Jeannette continued to manipulate the man. She told him that she had asthma and a contagious disease.

Her plan was working.

He asked her if she was hungry. Jeannette said yes. And the man gave Jeannette the phone to order pizza. He gave her his phone number. He also gave her his address.

Jeannette memorized all of it.

The pizza delivery arrived. The man went downstairs to collect it. But he came back with the pizza plus Jeannette’s missing flyer on top of the box.

He then told her that he was going to get rid of her that night.

At night, he took Jeannette to his car. They drove off. The car got to a parking lot and stopped. The man grabbed Jeannette’s hair, and he pulled her towards himself.

He said,

“I’m letting you go…If you ever tell anybody what I did, or who I am, or anything about me, I will come back for you and I will kill your family and I will kill you too.”

Then he let her out.

Jeannette ran towards a liquor store. The cashier quickly recognized her as the little girl from TV. Then he helped her to call the police, and David was soon arrested.

The Aftermath

David attempted to evade arrest and threatened the police inside his house.

The police unleashed the dogs on him, which led to multiple injuries on his arms.

The district attorney’s office filed nine felony charges against David, including burglary, sexual assault, rape, forcible lewd acts, battery, etc. David was sentenced to more than 100 years in prison.

Meanwhile, Jeannette was reunited with her family.

Jeannette struggled to leave her house for years after her traumatic experience. She was paralyzed by her fear of men and the outside world. But she finally decided to face her fears after about six years of therapy.

Jeannette picked up the pieces of her life. She studied law enforcement. Her goal is to be a detective one day and help her community, especially victims of violence.

“And no matter what life throws at us, no matter what obstacles, we’re all fighters, and we all have the ability to keep going.

I turned my fear into courage.

I got my family back.” — Jeannette

Sources:,, Unseen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *