Ex-con who kidnapped ex-girlfriend in California is on the run



A man considered armed and dangerous kidnapped his ex-girlfriend after she obtained a restraining order against him, authorities said.


Joseph Hetzel, 52, kidnapped Virginia Paris, 55, when she left work in Solvang on Friday night and took off in her black Chrysler, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.


On Sunday, the two stopped at a Starbucks in the suburbs of Phoenix, where Paris told a female customer she needed help, according to the sheriff’s office.


But Hetzel spotted the interaction, dragged her out and forced her back into the car before the woman could respond.


Paris managed to throw her car registration out the car door when Hetzel drove off, and the document was later discovered by police.

The two were last seen on a surveillance camera checking out of the Grand Canyon Inn in Valle, Arizona on Monday morning.

The two were last seen on a surveillance camera checking out of the Grand Canyon Inn in Valle, Arizona on Monday morning.

(Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office)


The two were last seen on a surveillance camera checking out of the Grand Canyon Inn in Valle, Arizona on Monday morning.


Police, who believe Hetzel may be headed to Las Vegas, issued a public plea for the two, saying they are “deeply concerned” for Paris’ safety.


The Chrysler has a California license number of 7NG3514.


Hetzel, who is described as 6 feet 2 inches and 195 pounds with brown hair and hazel eyes, had been convicted of possession of items used to make explosive devices, and using explosive devices with the intent to terrorize, the sheriff’s office said.


He has also served time for a “domestic incident”.


Anyone with information should contact 911, or the sheriff’s anonymous hotline 805-681-4171.


The FBI is assisting with the investigation.

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