Saturday, August 9, 2014
ROWLAND HEIGHTS, Calif. (AP) — Los Angeles County authorities said Friday they rescued a woman who was kidnapped and then held for ransom for two days without any food or water.
The 44-year-old woman was kidnapped at gunpoint Monday after her co-worker's boyfriend offered her a ride home from her job at a factory in Industry, Sheriff's Capt. Merrill Ladenheim said.
The boyfriend drove the woman to a restaurant, where he told her he was going to get some food. Then a man and a woman, at gunpoint, forced her down the floorboard of the car, bound and blindfolded her.
One of the kidnappers called the victim's husband demanding $110,000 and warned she'd be harmed or killed if it wasn't paid, Ladenheim said.
About 25 sheriff's detectives worked around the clock, and on Wednesday they found the woman bound with duct tape in a dark, squalid Rowland Heights garage.
"She was not given food or water," Ladenheim said. "She was kept there for two full days."
She was weak and dehydrated but is expected to make a full recovery, he said. The sheriff's department released a photo of the woman grasping one of her rescuers in a firm hug when she was freed.
No ransom was paid.
The co-worker had heard the victim mention that she and her husband had saved up money, but the family did not have access to the large sum of money demanded by the kidnappers, sheriff's officials said.
Two Rowland Heights couples remain jailed after pleading not guilty Friday to charges of kidnapping for ransom and conspiracy, prosecutors said.
They are the victim's longtime co-worker Judith Maldonado, 40; her boyfriend Francisco Inacua-Rosas, 34; Uziel Cuevas Figueroa, 32 and his girlfriend Rocio Inacua, 32.