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Venezuelan basketball star, reggeaton singer confirms son kidnapped

By Andrew V. Pestano
Venezuelan basketball star, reggeaton singer confirms son kidnapped
Juan Manaure, a Venezuelan basketball player and singer, has confirmed his son Derek, seen here with his father in mid-2016, was kidnapped in late December. Manaure has focused on his faith during his son's kidnapping but it is unclear if a ransom has been sought or if the basketball star has officially reported the kidnapping to the police. Photo courtesy of Juan Manaure

CARACAS, Venezuela, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- Juan Manaure, a Venezuelan basketball star and singer, has confirmed his son Derek has been kidnapped, adding that talk of the young boy's death is "just a rumor."

On Twitter, Manaure said that he puts Derek's fate "in the hands of God, trusting that soon you will be by my side because I have my faith that God guards and protects you from all harm."

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Caracas-born Manaure plays for Venezuela's Cangrejeros de Monagas national basketball league team and also recently began a career as a reggaeton musician. It is not clear if Manaure has reported the kidnapping to police or whether a ransom has been demanded.

"I look forward with much anxiety and hope for the return of my son Derek safe and sound. Son, here I am waiting for you. God take care of you and bless you," Manaure said Wednesday on Twitter. "Talking about the death of my son Derek is just a rumor. God will allow you to be back with your family soon. My God, in you I trust."

Venezuela has one of the highest crime rates in the world, coupled with record-high inflation amid an economic crisis that has led to basic goods becoming largely unavailable or unaffordable.

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