One of four suspects arrested in connection with a Vallejo woman's kidnapping knew the victim, NBC Bay Area has learned.
A friend of Elvira Babb, 57, who has not been seen since June 29, said 26-year-old Emmanuel Espinoza used to date Babb's daughter and at one point lived in Babb's house. Espinoza, along with three other suspects, are in custody, charged with kidnapping for ransom. Each is being held on $1 million bail.
Espinoza, of Stockton, and Larry Young, 23, of Sacramento, were in court Monday and pleaded not guilty to the charges. The two other suspects, 32-year-old Jalon Brown, of Sacramento, and 27-year-old Lovely Rauzol, of Vallejo, have yet to enter pleas.
Meanwhile, family members and friends are praying for Babb's safe return. Her son, John Babb, received a text from an unknown number on June 30 saying his mother was being held hostage and demanding $60,000 for her return.
"It's a complete nightmare; it just feels so unreal," John Babb said. "I'm hoping and praying that she's being held somewhere, and we're going to find her, or they're looking for the right time to let her go."
After John Babb got the text from the alleged abductors, he rushed over to his mother's home and found her small dog Rocky dead.
A manager from Pro Lab Orthotics, where Babb has worked as a technician for 21 years, says her co-workers are devastated. He said Babb is a kind and giving woman who led a simple life.
"This is not something Elvi Babb deserves," said Dan DeMars, human resources manager at Pro Lab. "She's such a sweet lady and loving person. None of us understand anything about why this happened."