Solvang kidnapping suspect arrested in Las Vegas

Joseph Hetzel was taken into custody and faces kidnapping and carjacking charges

Security officers at the Railroad Pass Hotel and Casino in Henderson reported that Paris, 55, approached them late Monday and told them she had been abducted, Henderson police said.

Police say Joseph Hetzel is still on the run and might be going to Utah.

Authorities began looking for Paris September 1 after learning Hetzel may have kidnapped her shortly after she left from work in Solvang.

Joseph Hetzel, who faces charges of carjacking and kidnapping, was arrested around 6 p.m. Tuesday after police received a tip, found a stolen auto, and tracked down the 52-year-old former convict, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office.

From there, they drove to Las Vegas, 250 miles away, where Hetzel dropped Paris off at a casino in Henderson, about 20 miles outside of the city.

Paris was found late Monday night at a casino in Henderson.

Hetzel and Paris were seen Monday morning leaving a hotel in Valle near the Grand Canyon, and police believed at that time that they may be en route to Las Vegas. Paris was taken to a local hospital where she was treated, medically cleared and reunited with family in Nevada, the spokeswoman said.

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The warrant for Hetzel's arrest originated in Santa Barbara. The Sheriff's Office will release more details tomorrow as they become available.

Hertzel and Paris were also spotted twice in Arizona in the past week.

The two were seen Saturday at a Starbucks in Goodyear, Arizona, where Paris apparently told a customer that she needed help, officials said.

According to SBCSO, Paris ordered a coffee drink and gave the name Virginia.

Hetzel saw her attempt to escape and intervened, dragging her out of the store and back in to his auto. He then drove her away in her black Chrysler sedan.

Authorities released surveillance photos of Hetzel and Paris checking out of the hotel and they appeared to show Paris continuing to be held against her will, KLAs notes.

SBCSO deputies said they are working closely with authorities in Nevada, Arizona and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


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