National News

California man believed to have kidnapped ex found in Vegas

Posted September 6

— A California man suspected of kidnapping his ex-girlfriend has been taken into custody in Las Vegas, authorities said Tuesday night.

Joseph Hetzel, 52, was booked into jail on suspicion of carjacking and kidnapping, The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office said in a news release.

The woman, Virginia Paris, was dropped off by Hetzel at a Las Vegas-area casino-hotel late Monday night, deputies said.

Security officers at the Railroad Pass Hotel and Casino in Henderson reported that Paris, 55, approached them late Monday and told them she had been abducted, Henderson police said.

Paris was treated at a hospital and then reunited with her family. No further details were released about her condition.

Investigators believe Hetzel kidnapped Paris in Solvang, California, and drove away in her black Chrysler sedan. They were seen Sunday near Phoenix, where Paris approached a customer for help at a coffee shop.

Investigators say Hetzel saw the exchange, grabbed Paris and dragged her away. They were seen checking out of a hotel near the Grand Canyon Monday morning.

Police found Paris' car abandoned in Mesquite, Nevada, early Tuesday.

Paris previously obtained a restraining order against Hetzel.

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