DOWNEY - A Downey police officer's electronic license plate scanner helped police locate a missing woman and her two daughters who were being held against their will at a local hotel, authorities said Tuesday.Police arrested 36-year-old Edson Mijangos, of Bellflower, the woman's estranged husband and father of the girls, on suspicion of holding them against their will. On Sunday night, the victim's sister reported the woman and her two daughters, ages 7 and 11, missing after she failed to show up for a scheduled meeting. When the sister called the woman's phone, Mijangos answered and hung up, police said. After subsequent phone calls went unanswered, the sister went to the woman's home but the house was empty. She then called police. Detectives searching for the woman entered her vehicle's license plate number into a database that compiles all license plates that had recently been captured by various mobile and stationary license plate readers in Los Angeles County. The system alerted detectives that the victim's vehicle had been seen in Downey earlier in the evening. This information led detectives to the Embassy Suites hotel in Downey where they found the victim's vehicle in the parking lot. Mijangos' car was also parked there. Detectives rescued the woman and her daughters from inside a hotel room. Before police arrived, Mijangos had allegedly physically assaulted the woman and one of her daughters, and threatened to throw the woman from the hotel balcony. He also ripped the phone cords from the wall to prevent the victims from calling for help, police said. Mijangos was arrested for false imprisonment and taken to Los Angeles County Jail. He was scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday at Downey Superior Court.
********** Published: March 22, 2012 - Volume 10 - Issue 49