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'Armed and dangerous' man kidnaps ex-girlfriend in California

Joseph Hetzel, 52, thought to be on the run after abducting Virginia Paris, 55, and believed to be heading for Las Vegas

Michael Balsamo
Tuesday 05 September 2017 09:03 BST
Virginia Paris
Virginia Paris (Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office/AP)

A man considered armed and dangerous kidnapped his former girlfriend in California and was spotted in Arizona as he held her against her will, authorities said.

Investigators believe Joseph Hetzel, 52, kidnapped Virginia Paris, 55, in Solvang on Friday and drove away in her black Chrysler sedan.

They were later spotted in Arizona and may be headed to Las Vegas, Santa Barbara County sheriff's officials said.

Investigators say they are “deeply concerned' about the safety of Paris.

Paris had obtained a restraining order against Hetzel after a domestic incident, sheriff's investigators said.

They were seen on Sunday at a Starbucks in Goodyear, Arizona, where Paris approached a customer and said she needed help.

Hetzel saw the exchange, grabbed Paris, dragged out her out of the shop and kicked her into a car before driving off, investigators said.

The FBI is assisting with the investigation.


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