New Details in the Kidnapping Victim Found in Mississippi

By: Kati Weis Email
By: Kati Weis Email
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UPDATE (12:00PM)

New details about the kidnapping of a woman in Panama City Beach.

NewsChannel 7 has learned the victim, 34-year-old Flor Turcio-Arias, walked into the Hattiesburg Police Station and told them she'd been abducted from her home in Florida.

Turcio-Arias was being held at a home one block from the police station in Hattiesburg. According to the incident report, she was visibly upset when she walked up to the front desk. She does not speak english but through a translater, she told them he had been kidnapped.

Turcio-Arias then took them to the house on Morten Street where she was being held before she escaped through a bathroom window. There, police arrested a man and a woman.

A short time later, an officer in Jasper County, Mississippi, about 50 miles north of Hattiesburg, spotted a broken down car and went to help. While waiting on a wrecker, an FBI friend texted him about the bolo for the kidnapping suspects and the car they were driving. It turned out to be the same car.

He detained a man and a woman who were in the car and turned them over to the FBI.

This all started about noon Thursday.

Turcio-Arias was washing her car in from of her home on 16th Street when two men drove up and forced her into their car at gunpoint. The Bay County Sheriff's Office put out an alert across the southeast.

Just before seven Thursday night, they got word that she had been found in Hattiesburg.

There are still lots of unanswered questions like why these men targeted Turcio-Arias. We'll continue to dig into the kidnapping and have the latest for you on NewsChannel 7 at 5 and 6.

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10:00 p.m.
EXCLUSIVE UPDATE:

Officials say kidnapping victim 34-year-old Flor Esmeralda Turcio-Arias, is okay after managing to escape from the kidnapping suspects and calling police Thursday night.

The suspects had taken her to Hattiesburg, Miss., about a five hour drive from Bay County.

When officers in Hattiesburg arrived, they were apparently able to arrest one of the men, who was still near the scene. Authorities are still investigating the whereabouts of the other suspect.

The big question still remaining Thursday night is the motive for the kidnapping. Local authorities say they hope to release more information on the case Friday.

NewsChannel 7 has been told that federal authorities will be handling the investigation.

7:05 p.m.
The woman was kidnapped Thursday afternoon has been found.

The Bay County Sheriff's Office says Flor Esmeralda Turcio-Arias was located in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, nearly 300 miles from Panama City.

Details are sketchy at this point, but we can tell you Turcio-Arias is with law enforcement officers. They are questioning her to determine what happened.

The Sheriff's Office says they will release more information on Friday.

6:38 p.m.
Major Tommy Ford of the Bay County Sheriff’s Office says they have issued a BOLO (Be On the Lookout) notice for 34-year-old Flor Esmeralda Turcio-Arias in the southeast of the U.S.

Officials say they received a 911 call in reference to the possible kidnapping of a Laguna Beach woman Thursday shortly after 12pm.

Deputies tell us they responded to a home at 120 16th Street, Laguna Beach where a witness to the event stated that Flor Esmeralda Turcio-Arias was outside washing her car when two men drove up and forced her into their car and drove away.

Officials say the two men who took her are believed to be Hispanic. One is reported to be about 50-years-old and the other, the driver of the car, is believed to be about 30-years-old.

The 50-something suspect pretended he had a gun under her shirt, told her to get in the car and threatened the victim's uncle not to call police.

Turcio-Arias has wavy, dark, shoulder-length hair and dark eyes. She is 5’5” tall and about 140 pounds. She was wearing a pink shirt and blue jean shorts when taken.

It is not yet known what the relation is between the suspects and the victim.

Their vehicle is believed to be silver Nissan four-door vehicle, possibly a Versa.The vehicle was last seen travelling south-bound down Front Beach Rd. The Versa pictured in this article is not the actual car, but something similar to what officials are looking for.

The Sheriff’s Office is working with the FBI, ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives), and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) on this case.

Anyone with information on this event or suspects is asked to call the Bay County Sheriff’s Office or Crime Stoppers at 850-785-TIPS.


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