Los Angeles: A 35-year-old nurse was kidnapped last night around 2:45 PM, January 2, 2007, as she left the home of a patient near Vanowen Street and Whitsett Avenue in North Hollywood. A few hours later the kidnappers abandoned the woman in the backseat of her car, alive and bound with duct tape.
Around 9 PM, the victim was able to call police using her cell phone. She described landmarks to the dispatcher, who directed officers to a parking lot of the Los Angeles Valley College, near Fulton Avenue and Burbank Boulevard.
"The officers, the dispatcher, and the victim worked as a team in a game of ‘hot and cold’ to direct the officers to the woman in the car," said LAPD spokesman Lieutenant Paul Vernon. "It was a great relief to all when they found her."
During the several hours of captivity, the two suspects disrobed the woman below the waist and burned her with cigarettes. Prior to her release, one kidnapper called the woman’s roommate, a man who is also the woman’s brother-in-law. The kidnapper told the roommate that he had kidnapped the roommate’s "wife" out of revenge for the roommate having an illicit affair with the kidnapper’s wife.
"Turns out, the kidnappers mistook their victim for the roommate’s wife, not knowing the roommate and the wife were estranged," Vernon explained. "This may explain why the kidnappers released the woman. Despite being a mistaken identity, don’t call this bungled. This is a very serious crime."
Detectives are interviewing the victim and her roommate to determine the identities of the kidnappers. At least one man was questioned and released Wednesday morning by North Hollywood detectives.
The victim was treated and released from a local hospital.
Anyone with information is asked to call North Hollywood Detectives at 818-623-4045. On weekends and during off-hours, call the 24-hour toll free number at 1-877-LAWFULL (877-529-3855).