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A 3-year-old girl was found dead in her home in Napa and police started a full manhunt for her mother and boyfriend Saturday. On Sunday, they arrested the two at a BART station in the East Bay. NBC Bay Area’s Cheryl Hurd reports from Napa where she spoke with police.
BART police detained a mother and her boyfriend Sunday in connection with the homicide of a 3-year-old girl in Napa.
An anonymous person tipped police about the whereabouts of the couple, identified as Sara Kreuger - the girl's mother - and Ryan Scott Warner, after police put out their pictures Sunday morning. They were found by police at the El Cerrito del Norte BART station at about 11 a.m.
"Both Richmond and El Cerrito police had reports from citizens who saw them at a restaurant," Debbie Peecook of Napa police said. "It is my belief they fled that restaurant when people were looking at them, and BART officers were able to contact them at the BART station."
The couple is being questioned about the homicide, police said.
At about 1 p.m. Saturday, Napa police responded to an apartment in the 2000 block of Wilkins Avenue for a welfare check on a young girl. When officers entered the apartment, they found the young girl dead in a bed, police said.
Police said there are signs of foul play, including blunt-force trauma to the child's body. There is also evidence of sexual assault, according to investigators.
Before the arrest, Krueger, the child's mother, was last seen leaving the area Saturday morning with her boyfriend, witnesses told police. They were both last seen carrying luggage from Krueger's apartment at about 10 a.m., according to police. Neither Krueger nor Warner owns a vehicle and police had not been able to reach them on their cellphones.
"I can’t believe it," Kreuger's friend Kindra Kunkel told NBC Bay Area over the weekend. "This is not Sara. This is not the girl I know.”
On Sunday night, a vigil started with prayer at the steps of the apartment on Wilkins Avenue where the girl was found dead. And it ended with the grandfather of the 3-year-old victim barely able to stand after being overcome with grief.
"The most proudest moment of my life is gone forever and there’s nothing we can do that can bring it back," the victim's grandfather John Kreuger said. "I hope nobody has to go through this.”
If anyone has information about what happened, they should contact Detective Andy Hess at email@example.com.