A woman and her husband have admitted to plotting a fake abduction in northwestern Mexico last month, so that they could demand ransom money from her mother, which she needed to pay off debts.
The suspects, Martha Elizabeth and Juan Samuel, identified only by their first names as permitted by Mexican law, said they found it to be too easy to lie to Elizabeth Eduviges because they were sure she would come up with the ransom.
The Sonora state prosecutor’s office revealed Monday that on the night of May 4, Martha Elizabeth called her mother to inform her that she had been kidnapped in Pesqueira, a town in the municipality of San Miguel de Horcasitas.
The woman told her mother that the abductors had demanded a $899 ransom [25,000 Mexican pesos].
Elizabeth Eduviges told authorities she heard her son-in-law say that Martha Elizabeth had problems with one of her kidnappers. The mother also told authorities that she heard Juan Samuel’s voice in the background, mentioning that Martha Elizabeth was being beaten and raped by the so-called attackers.
Shaken up and worried about her daughter’s well-being, Elizabeth Eduviges deposited $449 [10,000 Mexican pesos] into an account. Following the deposit, Juan Samuel contacted his mother-in-law and told her the abductors were now seeking a total of $1,120 to free her daughter.
Unable to get the rest of the money that was being requested, the cash-strapped mother went to the Sonora state prosecutor’s office to file a missing persons report on May 8.
Authorities launched a search-and-rescue mission that same day and were able to track down her daughter at a motel room in Hermosillo.
Both Martha Elizabeth and Juan Samuel were charged with aggravated extortion and are being held in jail.
According to Alto al Secuestro [Cease Kidnapping], at least 2,587 people were kidnapped in Mexico from December 1, 2018 to May 31, 2020. During that time, 35 abductions were reported in Sonora.
Over the first four months of this year, seven kidnapping have been reported in Sonora, however, none were registered in May.