California man sentenced to 55 years for kidnapping, sexually assaulting toddler

LOS ANGELES — A man accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a 2-year-old in Los Angeles was sentenced to 55 years to life Wednesday.

The toddler disappeared from her home in April 2015, prompting a massive search and “unprecedented response.”

More than two hours after she was reported missing, a woman located the naked child about eight miles away in a parking lot next to a dumpster. When officers arrived on the scene, the child clung to the woman, afraid of the male law enforcement agents.

The child was taken to the hospital and later released to her family.

Several days later, Michael Ikeler was taken into custody after a neighbor noticed him detailing a car that matched the one the suspect was driving. He was further linked to the case by DNA evidence and multiple witnesses.

Ikeler was convicted on one count of a lewd act upon a child and two counts of sexual penetration of a child, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said.