Vacaville Woman Accused of Attempted Kidnapping Struggles with Mental Illness, Ex-Husband Says

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VACAVILLE -- The woman Vacaville police say tried to take a 4-year-old boy Thursday struggles with mental illness and was off her medication, according to her ex-husband.

Relatives say they have not been able to see 56-year-old Aileen Caringal since her arrest and have not been able to get any information about her case from authorities.

"She's a very good person," Arthur Caringal, Aileen's ex-husband, told FOX40. "It just happened that not medicating, not going to the therapist, it leads to this tragic example."

Aileen Caringal was said to be calling for Brian, her son's name, when she showed up at Cooper Elementary School. Brian, now 17, attended Cooper Elementary years ago. He declined to speak on camera Friday.

"She stopped taking her medication and they, the brothers and sisters trying to intervene trying to help her. There's a bunch of records. The family was contacting Vacaville PD to do a welfare check for her, to do an intervention but she kept refusing," Arthur Caringal said.

As a registered nurse, her ex-husband says she's resisted medication because she was intimately aware of the side effects.

He also says Aileen's episodes plagued their almost 20-year marriage, were a contributing factor in their divorce last year, and that's there's no way to describe the frustration of trying to help someone you love who's refusing to be helped.

Learn more about Solano County mental health services by clicking here. Phone numbers for resources can be found below:

  • Solano Adult Mental Health
    707-553-5331 or
    707-469-4610
  • Solano Crisis Stabilization Unit Crisis Line
    707-428-1131
  • NAMI Solano County
    707-422-7792
  • Mental Health America 24-hour crisis center (national)
    1-800-273- TALK (8255)
  • Crisis Text Line (national)
    Text MHA to 741741
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