Wilson Ramos rescued from kidnappers

Nov. 11, 2011 at 11:33 PM
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VALENCIA, Venezuela, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- Venezuela's information minister announced Friday Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos had been rescued from his kidnappers.

Ramos, who took over the Nationals' catching duties as a rookie last year, was reportedly taken from his home in Venezuela by four men Wednesday. He had returned to his native country to play a brief schedule of games in the Venezuelan winter league.

Information Minister Andres Izarra used his Twitter account to announce that Ramos had been freed in an air rescue operation in the Montalban mountain area.

"Ramos free," Izarra tweeted. There were no other details.

Ramos batted .267 last year with 15 home runs and 52 RBI in 113 games.

No ransom demands had been made and Gustavo Marcano, agent for the 24-year-old ballplayer, said the family had no communication from the kidnappers after the abduction, The Washington Post reported.

Ramos was taken from the home near Valencia by two armed men who forced their way in and left with two other men in a getaway vehicle, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Luis Cedeno, director of Active Peace, a think tank in Caracas that studies Venezuelan crime, said the kidnappers are likely members of a criminal organization and might have demanded a ransom of between $10 million and $20 million.

Justice Minister Tareck El Aissami said police found the kidnappers' vehicle abandoned in Bejuma, about 25 miles from the site of the kidnapping.

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