Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Rowland Heights Woman Kidnapped And Held For Ransom Rescued After Two Days

Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

A Rowland Heights woman who was kidnapped and held for ransom after thinking she was getting a ride home from a friend has been rescued after two days in captivity.

Four people have been arrested in connection with the case, including Francisco Inacua, who offered the unidentified victim a ride home from work after she missed the bus on Monday night. The three others are Inacua's wife Judith Maldonado, who was also a coworker of the victim, Inacua's sister Rocio, and Rocio Inacua's common-law husband Uziel Figueroa. The suspects are alleged to have demanded $110,000 in ransom, according to ABC 7.

The plot was hatched when the suspects had learned that the woman and her husband had been saving up money to purchase property. "Her and her husband did not have the means to pay to come up with $110,000," said Captain Merrill Ladenheim of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, but investigators say they were willing to settle for less.

Instead of taking the woman home, Francisco Inacua pulled into the parking lot of a Diamond Bar restaurant where Rocio Inacua and Uziel Figueroa, armed with a gun, jumped into the car and took her to a duplex garage in Rowland Heights. Bound and gagged with duct tape and blindfolded, the woman was held in the garage for two days before being rescued by sheriff's deputies 48 hours later.

Support for LAist comes from

"It's [a] scheme right out of a novel," William McSweeney, chief of the sheriff's department's detectives, told the LA Times.

Detectives from the sheriff's department tracked the woman's last known locations before finding her in the garage, being watched over by one of the suspects. They discovered that she had been held in a state of squalor in the cluttered garage. She was deprived of food and water during her entire ordeal, and was forced to use a bucket instead of a toilet. The victim was taken to a local hospital but has since been released, expected to make a full recovery.

No money had ever been exchanged before the woman was rescued. All four suspects in the case have since plead not guilty.