Kidnapped Woman Sought Help At Local Starbucks (Photos)

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A California woman who says she was kidnapped and driven across state lines and during a stop at a local Starbucks in Arizona, pleaded with a patron for help before being dragged away.

Virginia Paris, 55, was kidnapped in the central California town of Solvang by Joseph Hetzel, 52, who is believed to be her ex-boyfriend, against whom Paris has a restraining order, according to KNXV-TV. Paris was described as 5 feet 6 inches tall and approximately 150 pounds, while Hetzel is 6 feet 2 inches tall and 195 pounds.

While traveling from California to their supposed destination in Las Vegas, the two stopped at a Starbucks in Goodyear, Arizona, on Sept. 3. Paris ordered a drink there and gave her actual first name before heading to the bathroom, reports Newser.

After leaving the bathroom, Paris told a female customer that she had been kidnapped and needed help, at which point Hetzel saw the interaction and forcibly dragged her outside.

As Hetzel was forcing Paris into the vehicle, she was able to throw her car registration papers out of the car, leaving behind a trace of her location and more of her pertinent information, according to KNXV-TV. Goodyear police found the papers.

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Police said Paris was taken in her 2015 Chrysler 200 sedan, which has California license plates. The vehicle was last seen driving east on Interstate 10 towards the downtown Phoenix area.

Paris and Hetzel were also seen Sept. 4 leaving a hotel near the Grand Canyon in Arizona where it was believed they spent the night, reports The Associated Press.

Later that evening Paris, was spotted in a Las Vegas-area casino hotel, where she told security guards she had been kidnapped and needed help. At that point, security guards were able to keep Paris safe and took her to a local hospital for observation. Hetzel fled the scene and remains at large.

Hetzel has previous convictions on his record and has spent time in prison, according to KNXV-TV. He has served time for obtaining materials used to make explosives, using explosive devices with the intent to terrorize, criminal threats and felony vandalism.

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Many of those charges stem from an unrelated incident with another ex-girlfriend, in which Hetzel vandalized the woman's home several times and poisoned her dogs, according to KTLA.

Witnesses to the abduction of Paris said it was clear the woman was being held against her will.

Authorities say Hetzel remains armed and dangerous and should not be contacted or approached.

Sources: KNXV-TV, Newser, AP via Newser, KTLA / Featured Image: Novica Nakov/Flickr / Embedded Images: Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office via KTLA

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