Local Kidnapping Opens Federal Investigation

By: Cameron Taylor Email
By: Cameron Taylor Email

The victim in Thursday's kidnapping in Panama City Beach is okay and authorities have arrested four suspects involved in the case.

Authorities say the believe the kidnappers knew Turcio-Arias, and that this kidnapping was not at random.

34-year-old Flor Turcio-Arias was washing her car around noon Thursday in the front lawn of her Laguna Beach home on 16th St.

According to witnesses, two Hispanic men drove up, forced Turcio-Arias into their car, then disappeared.

"I'll just say at this point in the investigation we don't believe that it was a random act," says Major Tommy Ford with the Bay County Sheriff's Office.

No one heard or saw anything for the next five or six hours, until Turcio-Arias was finally able to escape from her abductors.

Hattiesburg officials say Turcio-Arias escaped through a bathroom window of a house where the kidnappers were holding her, and walked into a police station a block away.

Officers arrested two men and two women, but it's unclear what they're roles are in the kidnapping.

The big question that still remains is why.

The FBI, which is now handling the investigation, isn't saying much, but we've learned it has something to do with a federal investigation originating out of Tennessee.

"It's quite strange that it happened so close. It's nerve wracking. It kind of bothers you," says neighbor Jay Skidmore.

Although authorities say Turcio-Arias was not a random target, the broad daylight crime still has neighbors like Skidmore concerned.

"I have kids, five and 14. With that in mind, it keeps me kind of on edge about where we're living and the days and times that we're living."

The case is still under investigation, but there's no word if there will be any more arrests.


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