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Woman Abducted In Santa Barbara County Safe; Search Continues For Man Wanted For Kidnapping

(Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office photo)
The search continues for Joseph Hetzel, a man accused of kidnapping a Santa Barbara County woman

The search continues for a man wanted for kidnapping a Santa Barbara County woman, taking her on a three day ordeal across three states.

The Santa Barbara County woman was released unharmed Monday night in the Las Vegas area.

Sheriff’s detectives say it started Friday night in Solvang, when Virginia Paris was abducted by a man she had once dated, Joseph Hetzel. The two were then spotted at various locations in Arizona Sunday and Monday morning before the 55 year old Lompoc woman was released Monday night outside of a Henderson, Nevada casino. She was taken to a hospital where she was medically cleared, and is now back safe with her family.

The woman’s car was found abandoned in Mesquite, Nevada at around 2:30 Monday morning. Investigators think Hetzel may be headed for Utah. He has a past criminal record, and is considered to be armed, and dangerous.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral. 
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