PUEBLO, Colo. - Pueblo police said the victims in a Friday night home invasion and kidnapping were blindfolded by three armed men who possibly were seeking money for drugs.
Police Sgt. Charlie Taylor said Saturday drugs were an apparent factor in the incident because the suspects said they were looking for "a significant amount" of money that the male victim owed them.
"These suspects were sophisticated and are fairly good at covering their tracks," he said. "This could have been part of a large drug organization collecting on a debt."
The incident occurred at about 7:25 p.m. Friday in the 2900 block of Ontario Street on the city's south side.
Taylor said the victims are a married couple with two children, ages 2 and 5. He said the kidnappers locked the children in a closet and severely beat the man before kidnapping the woman. The kidnappers spoke in Spanish, Taylor said.
"The family said they didn't know the men," Taylor said. "The family said the men came in too fast to see who they were."
Taylor said the kidnappers, the wife and a fourth man fled in the family's car -- a gray 2007 Dodge Magnum. Police found the abandoned vehicle several hours later. Taylor said the kidnappers, speaking through the kidnapped woman's husband, demanded an unspecified ransom for her safe return.
"While in the car, she feared for her life and threats were made to her," Taylor said. "She was bound and blindfolded, so she couldn't tell us where she'd been."
The woman was found by a passerby at about 7 a.m. Saturday near the Interstate 25 Pueblo West exit, Taylor said, and wasn't physically hurt.
"They forced her out of the vehicle, face down, close to some railroad tracks," he said. "We're still investigating, but without better descriptions it'll be difficult, if not impossible, to find these men."
Neighbors expressed shock about the incident. They say they didn't know the family well, and didn't see or hear anything suspicious that night.
"Just hearing that they might have kids around the same age as mine really hits home," said Michelle Meehan, who lives across the street from the victims.
Another neighbor, Brittanie Brown, reflected on how she'd react if her family was in a similar situation.
"We haven't really talked about it," she said. "We weren't ever expecting something like this to happen. Maybe (the victims) weren't, either. It's probably something we'll discuss now."
Several neighbors said they plan to install home security devices for protection.
The victims of the incident didn't return home Saturday.
"We'd advise them to be in a safe location," Taylor said. "You never know if (kidnappers) will come back."
Investigators are still searching for the suspects. If you have any information, call police at 719-553-2502 or Pueblo Crime Stoppers at 719-542-STOP (542-7867).