Crime

Mafe Cruz-Berula busted for child sex assault and more after four young girls go missing

The scenario instantly recalled Jessica Ridgeway's disappearance, except multiplied: In Greeley, four girls between the ages of five and twelve vanished, prompting a desperate search. In this case, fortunately, the four girls were found and returned to their homes -- but not before one of them allegedly suffered a sexual assault. Details about the arrests of Mafe Cruz-Berula and Uriel Garcia, plus photos and videos, are on view below.

At about 6:30 p.m. on Sunday evening, according to the Greeley Police Department, the girls -- ages five, six, ten and twelve -- were reported missing. The older twosome were babysitting the younger pair in the apartment building where all of them live (it's located on the 1900 block of 2nd Street) when they left the home of the ten year old, bound for the twelve year old's place.

Problem is, they never arrived at their intended destination

Cops subsequently spoke with witnesses who recalled seeing the girls walking together, but without adult supervision, around that time -- but where they'd headed, no one knew.

Then, a break: A call placed to the one of the older girl's cell phone reached a younger one. The child who picked up was told to return home with her friends, since the police were looking for them. However, the four didn't reappear, and subsequent calls to the phone went unanswered.

So, according to 7News, the GPD traced the phone to an apartment occupied by Garcia, eighteen, and Cruz-Berula, twenty.

Turns out Garcia was known to one of the older children; his girlfriend was a family friend of hers. Police believe he and Cruz-Berula met up with the quartet and convinced them to head to Garcia's place.

Continue to read more about the arrests of Mafe Cruz-Berula and Uriel Garcia.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts

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