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Virtual kidnappers terrorize Northstate woman

By Stephanie Montano, smontano@krcrtv.com
Published On: Jan 09 2014 09:19:15 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 09 2014 09:20:23 PM CST
REDDING, Calif. -

The FBI said Virtual Kidnappings are  happening in many countries around the world.

Officials said people traveling to foreign countries like Mexico are the target.

Kimberly Gonzales of Redding got a call from her husband's cell phone in Mexico saying he was kidnapped and the person on the phone was demanding ransom.

What's worse is that Gonzales said her husband has been kidnapped before, that incident happened about a year ago. Thankfully this time it wasn’t true, but his cell phone and wallet were stolen from the hotel where he was staying in Mexico.

“They took his clothes, took his shoes, took his cell phone and then dumped him on the road between Mexicali and Tijuana," said Kimberly Gonzales as she described what her husband went through a year ago.

"Fortunately a passenger passing by found him laying unconscious on the road and picked him up and took him to a hospital in Tijuana," said Gonzales.

On Jan. 6 she had another scare, her husband Rodrigo Gonzales had gone to Mexico to visit family but she started to worry when she hadn’t heard from him for 36 hours, so she sent him a text.

"Where are you? You know? How come i haven't heard from you? And I got a text back that said 'it is not me,'" said Gonzales.

Gonzales said in that moment she knew something was terribly wrong.

Gonzales checked a locator app on her phone which lets her track her families whereabouts and it showed the phone was near the border.

"I just said 'no! no! no! there’s something wrong where’s my husband?'” said Gonzales. “I kept asking 'where’s Rodrigo? Wheres Rodrigo?'”

Gonzales said after that she started getting calls from a man asking for $2,000.

Gonzales was told she had an hour to put that money in an account, if not her husband would be murdered.

"First thing I thought was I’m never gonna see him again," said Gonzales.

Gonzales said she called the FBI. They took a report and contacted Mexican officials.

"I know the reputation in Mexico when people get kidnapped you don't usually ever see them again," said Gonzales.

The next evening she got the call she was waiting for, Rodrigo explaining the horrific experience.

Gonzales said she is happy her husband is OK and is glad nothing happened to him.

"It will be nice when he gets home, it’s been too long," said Gonzales.

Unfortunately Mexican officials have closed the case since it wasn't a real kidnapping.

Virtual kidnappings are very popular, especially in Mexico and unfortunately many become victims.