Crime

Lompoc kidnap victim, suspect could be headed to Las Vegas

Virginia Paris and Joseph Hetzel were spotted checking out of the Grand Canyon Inn in Valle, Arizona, on Monday morning.
Virginia Paris and Joseph Hetzel were spotted checking out of the Grand Canyon Inn in Valle, Arizona, on Monday morning.

A Lompoc woman who may have been kidnapped could be heading to Las Vegas, along with a man authorities suspect kidnapped her.

Virginia Paris and her ex-boyfriend and suspected kidnapper, Joseph Hetzel, checked out of the Grand Canyon Inn in Valle, Ariz., about 7:30 a.m. Monday, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.

According to authorities, Paris continues to be held against her will, and the pair is possibly on their way to Las Vegas, the Sheriff’s Office said. Paris and Hetzel are still believed to be driving Paris’ black 2015 Chrysler 200 with a California license plate of 7NGE514, the Sheriff’s Office said.

They were seen Sunday about 7:15 a.m. at a Starbucks on the 1300 block of North Litchfield Road in Goodyear, Arizona, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office. When Paris ordered a drink at the restaurant, she gave the name Virginia. Paris went to the bathroom at the Starbucks and, when she came out, she told a female customer that she needed help, officials said.

Hetzel saw this interaction, according to authorities, and he grabbed Paris and dragged her out of the shop. Hetzel then kicked Paris into a vehicle and drove off at a “high rate of speed,” the Sheriff’s Office said. Paris threw the car registration out the window as they drove off, and it was found by Goodyear police officers, authorities said.

Anyone with information about Paris or Hetzel should call 911, the Sheriff’s Office said. To leave an anonymous tip, call the Sheriff’s Tip Line at 805-681-4171 or go to www.sbsheriff.org/anonymoustips.html.

Authorities ask anyone who sees Hetzel to call 911 immediately and not to approach him.

Hetzel allegedly kidnapped Paris on Friday, according to Kelly Hoover, a Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman.

Associates of Paris told deputies she recently sought a restraining order against Hetzel, which was granted but had 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, about 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, about 5-foot-6 and 150 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a light-colored shirt.

Gabby Ferreira: 805-781-7858, @Its_GabbyF

  Comments