Vallejo police said Saturday that they are investigating a kidnapping for ransom case in which a woman was taken hostage and her dog was found dead.
Police said during a 5 p.m. news conference that they received a call from Vallejo resident John Babb, 36, who said his mother, Elvira, 57, had been taken hostage from her home. Babb reported receiving a text message and a call on June 30 from an unknown number demanding money for the return of his mother and threatening her with violence.
"The caller advised him that he had his mother and he demanded money and threatened her life if he didn't pay or if he went to the authorities," Lt. Jeff Bassett of the Vallejo Police Department said.
After receiving the message, Babb rushed to his mother's home at 101 Daniels Ave., where he found her small dog dead and no one home. Police said there appeared to be no signs of forced entry.
Neighbors say they are shocked that something like this happened in their community.
Police said they have executed numerous search warrants while investigating the case, but none have borne fruit when it comes to locating the victim. Officers have, however, arrested four people who they believe are responsible for the kidnapping: Emmanual Espinoza, 26, of Stockton, Jalon Brown, 32, of Sacramento, Larry Young, 23, also of Sacramento, and Lovely Rauzol, 27, of Vallejo.
Police identified Espinoza as the "primary suspect" and say none of the alleged kidnappers are divulging the victim's location. All of the suspects have criminal records and are "well acquainted with one another," police said. A neighbor who lived near the victim told NBC Bay Area that Espinoza used to live in the building a few years back.
Espinoza posted a status update saying "Its obviously something serious they kickin in the doors and looking for me...its ma time to go yall" the night he was arrested.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations has been assisting on the case, but the police are now reaching out to the public in hopes of finding Elvira.
The kidnappers have asked for less than six figures, but police are not releasing the exact amount.
Elvira was last seen on June 29 at Sea Food City Market in Vallejo after a coworker dropped her off after work.