FILE PHOTO: FAIRCHILD
Vallejo Police Department via AP
Xiana Fairchild, shown in a file photograph taken shortly before her Dec. 9, 1999, disappearance.
updated 5/12/2004 10:46:48 AM ET 2004-05-12T14:46:48

An imprisoned kidnapper has been arrested in the 1999 murder of a 7-year-old girl, more than three years after her skull was found in the Santa Cruz mountains, authorities said.

Authorities said Curtis Dean Anderson admitted in jailhouse interviews that he kidnapped Xiana Fairchild. He will be charged with murder, kidnapping and child molestation.

The Santa Clara County district attorney’s office announced the arrest Tuesday and planned to reveal more details at a news conference Wednesday.

The Vallejo girl was reported missing on Dec. 9, 1999, by her mother, Antoinette Robinson. Xiana, born while her mother was in prison for auto theft, disappeared six months after Robinson reclaimed her, against the wishes of other relatives.

Police long suspected Anderson, a former cab driver, after he was sentenced to 251 years in prison in 2000 for kidnapping an 8-year-old Vallejo girl who eventually escaped.

From jail, Anderson told Xiana’s great aunt and reporters that he kidnapped the girl and kept her for two weeks and then gave her, alive, to someone else.

Investigators were initially unable to corroborate Anderson’s claims so no arrest was made at the time.

Santa Clara County sheriff’s Capt. John Hirokawa said prosecutors now believe they have enough physical evidence and testimony to pursue a case.

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