Public’s help sought in finding possible Lompoc kidnap victim, suspect

Virginia Paris
Virginia Paris

The public’s help is being sought in locating a Lompoc woman who may have been kidnapped by her ex-boyfriend Friday in Solvang.

Investigators were alerted Friday night to the alleged kidnapping, which occurred earlier in the day, according to Kelly Hoover, a Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Departmentspokeswoman.

“During the ensuing investigation, deputies developed information which suggests the victim, 55-year-old Virginia Paris of Lompoc, was kidnapped by her ex-boyfriend, 52-year-old Joseph Hetzel of Lompoc,” Hoover said.

Detectives believe Paris and Hetzel drove south on Highway 101 after leaving Solvang, and were last seen in the Camarillo area, Hoover said.

The are believed to be driving Paris’ black 2015 Chrysler 200 with a California license number of 7NGE514.

“Calls to both Paris’ and Hetzel’s phones have been unsuccessful, and they are believed to be off or non-functioning,” Hoover said.

Associates of Paris told deputies she recently sought a restraining order against Hetzel, which was granted but has yet to be served, Hoover said.

Hetzel has previously served time in prison for possession of items used to make explosive devices, using explosive devices with the intent to terrorize, felony vandalism and criminal threats, Hoover said.

He is believed to have access to firearms and should be considered armed and dangerous, she added.

Hetzel was described as a white male adult, approximately 6-foot-2 and 195 pounds, with brown hair and hazel eyes. He was last seen wearing a light blue shirt.

Paris was described as a white female adult, approximately 5-foot-6 and 150 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a light-colored shirt.

Members of the public are encouraged that if they locate Hetzel not to approach or contact him.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of either Paris or Hetzel is asked to immediately contact 911. To leave an anonymous tip, call 805-681-4171 or go to

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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