Council Bluffs man accused of kidnapping 4-year-old pleads guilty

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (WOWT)-- Michael Brandstrom, accused of kidnapping and taking nude photos of a 4-year-old girl in early September, filed a guilty plea through his attorney Thursday in Pottawattamie County District Court. He's been in jail since his arrest.

The four-year-old girl wandered away from her apartment and Brandstrom spotted her and took her back to his apartment.

A frantic mom called 911 and Council Bluffs police started looking for her. Eventually, Brandstrom, 28, walked out of his apartment with the girl by his side. He said he was protecting her and keeping her safe, according to detectives. But officers wondered why he never called police. And when they looked at his cellphone, they found nude photos of the girl.

"It's horrifying," said a mother of an 11-year-old girl who lives in the same Council Bluffs apartment complex.

It's a case that still frustrates and angers others who live in the complex.

“That isn’t anything to what he deserves,” said one neighbor responding to the 10-year prison sentence. “That little girl can’t get her life back."

Another male neighbor had this exchange with 6 News.

Reporter: "You have a daughter?"
Neighbor: "Yes, she's 4."
Reporter: "The same age as this victim."
Neighbor: "Basically."
Reporter: "What goes through your head hearing that?"
Neighbor: "I have only one thing to say for people like that. You should whoop his ass."

The official guilty plea was to kidnapping and lascivious acts with a child. Experts say he's likely to serve at least 70% of the sentence, meaning he could be out in 7-years.