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Police: ‘Heavy Drug User’ Mom Abducted Daughter, Has Links to Tenderloin

Written by The Standard StaffPublished Feb. 16, 2023 • 10:56am
Crystal Mendez and Tayana | Courtesy San Jose Police

Update: The allegedly kidnapped infant daughter Tayana Lewis has been found safe and returned to officers. The suspect remains at large.

A woman with reported ties to San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood has allegedly abducted her 2–year–old daughter from San Jose, police announced Thursday morning.

Crystal Mendez, who is reportedly a "heavy drug user," was last seen at the Coliseum BART Station in Oakland Wednesday. Her last known residence was the basement of a home on Turk Street.

Mendez allegedly kidnapped her infant daughter Tayana from a San Jose apartment Wednesday, according to the San Jose Police Department.

Crystal Mendez | San Jose Police Department

Mendez has a tattoo of the word “Dante” on her neck and was last seen wearing a white hooded jacket with black skinny jeans and dark sneakers, police said. She is said to be pushing Tayana in a black and teal stroller.

Toddler Tayana Lewis weighs approximately 25 pounds, brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a white jacket with pink sleeves and blue colored pants. She was in a black and teal stroller.

Tayana Lewis | Courtesy SJPD

If the Suspect or victim are seen, please call 911. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Hansen #3836 of the San José Police Department’s Family Violence Unit via email: and/or at 408-277-3700.

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