Santa Barbara- S County

Lompoc kidnapping survivor speaks out about violent ordeal

'He was very forceful, very very, very mean'

Solvang kidnapping victim tells her...

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - Accusations of explosive threats and a forced marriage.

The Santa Barbara County woman at the center of an intense kidnapping investigation is speaking out about her terrifying ordeal. Her alleged abductor, Joseph Hetzel, a convicted felon, remains locked up at a Nevada detention center.

"It's hard," said Virginia Paris, wiping back tears. 

The 55 year old Lompoc woman is processing the last couple of days.

"He was very forceful, very very, very mean," said the kidnapping survivor. 

Paris is talking about 52 year old Hetzel, a man she once dated and eventually filed a restraining order against.

The Lompoc man is accused of kidnapping Paris from a parking lot in Solvang last Friday.

The pair was later spotted at the Rail Road Pass Hotel in Henderson, Nevada and then inside a downtown Las Vegas chapel.

"He said marrying me would get him out of trouble ... and pretend like we were on some little honeymoon and we turned off our cell phones and no one would know the difference."

Paris and Hetzel were captured on surveillance at the Little Neon Chapel. 

At first you see the pair signing what looks like marriage documents, right before paris turns and tries to walk out the door. 

Hetzel grabs her and they walk out of the chapel.

"I was very upset and the first time I walked away, I was extremely upset," Paris said. "I would not do anything and he ran after me because I was running."

About an hour and a half later, they come back.

"I went through with it a second time because he would not stop."

That's how Paris described her two month relationship with Hetzel.

"Very mind controlled. He talked a lot about his explosives and what he would do and what he's done to people, his ex-girlfriends and all that kind of stuff," she said. "That made me very nervous, especially on this trip."

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's officials confirm Hetzel served time for a previous domestic violence incident involving criminal threats and an explosive device. That's why time was of the essence.

"The victim was in constant fear of the suspect," said Kelly Hoover, spokeswoman for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office. "Anytime that they were in a public place, he kept very close physical contact with her." 

Sheriff's and police investigators joined forces in three states to track down Hetzel and Paris.

"I tried running, many times, but he wouldn't let me," Paris said. "He had me by his side. He wouldn't let me run."

A hotel clerk finally came to her rescue, when Paris walked up and asked for help.

Now, the Lompoc woman is safe. 

Santa Barbara County now awaits word from Nevada officials on the extradition process which Hoover said could take days or even months. 


 


comments powered by Disqus

Top Local Stories