Suspect was not registered as sex offender |

Suspect was not registered as sex offender

F.T. Norton
Fernando Peons Aguero, a known sex offender, is suspected in kidnapping Lydia Bethany-Rose Rupp, 8, from her home in Fernley.

A convicted sex offender who authorities believe kidnapped a Fernley 8-year-old was not registered with Lyon County, an official said Monday.

Lt. John Arndell said suspect Fernando Aguero, 47, did not comply with Nevada law requiring him to register as a sex offender and kept his past from 8-year-old Lydia Bethany-Rose Rupp’s mother, whom he befriended at church in April.

He was convicted in 1985 in Los Angeles for lewd and lascivious behavior with a child under 14 and spent one year in jail, Arndell said. Details of that conviction were not available, Arndell said.

Authorities say Arguero, who was a roommate, kidnapped Lydia sometime between 6 a.m. when he dropped off her mother at work at Scolari’s and 3 p.m. when she returned home. He also took all of Lydia’s photographs, some clothing, her birth certificate, Social Security card and the family pet. Arndell believes his intention is to pass Lydia off as his daughter.

Arndell characterized Aguero as a predator who spent time planning the abduction.

“He’s the kind of guy who goes around to churches just looking for kids,” he speculated.

A warrant has been issued for Aguero’s arrest on charges of first-degree kidnapping and bail is set at $1 million.

Just before the abduction, Aguero was trying to convince the mother to move to San Diego with him, Arndell said.

“She wasn’t really wanting to go,” he said.

The mother had also recently confronted Aguero about the amount of time he spent with Lydia, but, Arndell said, she never suspected he was hurting her daughter. She thought he was only spoiling her and making Lydia difficult to discipline.

In telephone conversations with his mother Sunday and sister Saturday, both of whom lives in Las Vegas, Aguero allegedly said he was in Tijuana, Mexico, looking for a “Christian family,” to leave Lydia with. Arguero didn’t offer a motive for the abduction to either relative, Arndell said. He said both women are cooperating with police.

“We believe that she’s down in Mexico and we are working with the Mexican and federal authorities to try to get that taken care of,” said Lt. Jeff Page.

Arndell said the mother asked authorities to not release her name. She is waiting at home in the hopes Arguero will return her daughter.

“She’s afraid to leave the house, because she’s afraid he’ll call,” he said.


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