Jose Inocente, a 42-year-old Hispanic man, along with his long-time girlfriend Pamela Framus, 38, both of Albuquerque, were arrested within hours of a dramatic phone call made to police by their alleged victim.
ayor Martin J. Chavez praised police for quickly apprehending the alleged kidnappers. "This shows that our city responds in a most timely manner to citizens' calls for help, especially when they're victims of such a horrendous crime," he said. Mr. Chavez attributed the police's fast action with not only saving the actual victim's life but any possible kidnappings this dangerous couple may have perpetrated on others.
Local ACLU(eless) spokesperson Batilda Mooney was less sanguine about the police's response. "I don't know the full details about this kidnapping, but isn't it funny that one of the persons charged with that crime is a member of a minority community?" she asked in a press conference at the civil rights group's branch office in Albuquerque. Ms. Mooney said the group's national headquarters would be investigating to see whether Mr. Inocente's rights had been violated in any way by police.
Meanwhile, a law-enforcement spokesperson said authorities are confident that the couple they have in custody are the two individuals described to them by the victim. Overa Eagerly of the Albuquerque police department told reporters, "Look, they were both in the (J.C.) Penny's store not three blocks from where the victim made her phone call. Both meet the description she provided us. You can see for yourself on the store's security camera how much they do."
A black-and-white videotape from that camera shows the two suspects buying socks and a waffle iron at the checkout counter. Both appear to be in their 40s. The medium-build man is roughly five foot, nine inches tall, has short black hair, is clean shaven, and has on blue jeans and a dark-colored jacket. The woman paid for the items using cash. They then proceed to walk out of the store.
Ms. Eagerly also replayed the store's outdoor security camera, which shows the same couple getting into a dark van, similar to the "paint or work van" that the victim told police was used by the suspects.
The arrest was the first major breakthrough in a kidnapping case that garnered national news coverage for nearly a week. If convicted, Mr. Inocente and Ms. Framus could each face up to life in prison under federal and state criminal laws. They are being held in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Albuquerque awaiting appearance before a federal magistrate on the interstate kidnapping charges.
The following is an excerpt from the victim's dramatic 911 call to police, as transcribed by AP(ee):
Caller: I was kidnapped earlier this week.
911: What's your name?
911: What happened?
Caller: I was kidnapped.
911: OK. And the person who did this to you. Was it a he or she?
Caller: It was an Hispanic man and a Caucasian woman. It happened in Duluth.
911: And the male that did this? Is he black, white or Native American?
911: About how old?
Caller: I would say in their 40s, maybe.
911: OK, how tall was he?
Caller: Oh, God, I don't know, probably my height, about five-nine.
911: What is his weight, approximately? Thin, heavy, medium build?
Caller: It was medium build, yeah.
911: What color hair did he have?
911: Was it short or long?
911: Have any facial hair?
911: What color shirt did he have when you last saw him?
Caller: He had on a maroon jacket, and I don't know what color shirt under it.
911: What color were his pants?
Caller: Blue jeans.
911: What kind of vehicle was he driving?
Caller: It was a blue van, like a dark van.
911: Was it a conversion or minivan?
Caller: It wasn't a minivan. It was like a paint or work van.