Multiple reports out of Venezuela are indicating that the mother of Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Elias Diaz was rescued on Sunday. His 72-year-old mother was kidnapped on Thursday while at her house. Noticias Venezuela, a site with 818,000 followers on Twitter, was the first to report the news and other sources in Venezuela have been picking up on the news as it continues to get out.
Reports on Saturday morning noted that the driver of the getaway van was arrested. That was followed shortly by five police officers from Zulia being detained in regards to the kidnapping. One of them was a neighbor of Diaz, who reportedly told everyone when Elias Diaz left the house to go fishing on Thursday morning. The kidnapping happened 15 minutes later.
Police have been working quickly to find Diaz’s mother due to her need to take daily medication for both hypertension and diabetes. The reports indicate that they were expecting to find Ana Soto last night, but it appears that she wasn’t found until sometime this morning. She was “safe and sound” but went to a medical center to get treatment.
More sites have confirmed the rescue since I started this article, so it appears that this difficult situation has a happy ending.
UPDATE MONDAY 10:36 AM: Frank Coonelly issued a statement:
“The Pittsburgh Pirates are relieved and overjoyed to learn that Elias Diaz’ mother, Ana Soto, has been rescued and safely reunited with her family. We are incredibly grateful for the swift and effective work of the local law enforcement officials in Venezuela who brought this terrifying act to the safe conclusion for which we had all prayed. As an organization, we will continue to support Elias and his family as they move forward together.”