Just hours after kidnapping victim Virginia Paris was reported safe after being left at a hotel in Henderson, Nevada, reports from family members and pictures surfaced online that her alleged kidnapper, Joseph Hetzel had been apprehended in the Las Vegas area.
Then this evening Henderson Police Department released information that Hetzel had been caught. They shared that at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, HPD received information indicating that the man involved in the California kidnapping case may have returned to the Henderson area.
HPD then located a stolen motor vehicle from Mesquite, NV. Further investigation by HPD led them to contact and identify the suspect as Hetzel, the report said.
Hetzel was transported to the Henderson Detention Center and booked on an original warrant for the Santa Barbara County Sheriffs Office, according to HPD.
Virginia Paris, 55, of Lompoc, was allegedly kidnapped by her ex-boyfriend Joseph Hetzel, 52, of Lompoc, on Friday in Solvang, and the two were later spotted at a Starbucks on Sunday morning in Goodyear, Arizona.
The pair were then tracked down to a Grand Canyon hotel on Monday morning when the pair was seen leaving the Grand Canyon Inn in Valle around 7:30 a.m. on September 4. They had spent the night there, officials said.
Just before 9 p.m. on Sept. 4, Paris placed two calls to a family member. The first call was short and indicated that she was coming home. The second call was her calling for help and providing information that she was in the Henderson, Nevada area. The family member called to notify the Santa Barbara County Public Safety Dispatch Center and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. The Sheriff’s Office and local law enforcement agencies began coordinating search efforts.
At approximately 11 p.m. last night, 52-year-old Hetzel, dropped Paris off in front of the Railroad Pass Hotel and Casino in Henderson, NV and drove away. Paris summoned for help and casino staff contacted the Henderson Police Department. When officers arrived, Paris told them that Hetzel may be on his way to Utah. Henderson Police Officers took Paris to a local hospital where she was treated, medically cleared and reunited with family in Nevada.
The Sheriff’s Office worked closely with local authorities and at 2:30 a.m. this morning, Mesquite Police Officers located Paris’ vehicle, a 2015 black Chrysler 200 abandoned in the 300 block of Emmarene Street in Mesquite, Nevada.
Friends of the family reported he had been apprehended this afternoon.