Kidnapping suspect and victim possibly headed to Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS - The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office has alerted local law enforcement officers to the fact that kidnapping suspect Joseph Hetzel and kidnapping victim Virginia Paris could be headed to the Las Vegas area.

At approximately 7:30 a.m. Monday morning, the two checked out of the Grand Canyon Inn in Valle, Arizona where they had spent the night.  The sheriff’s office released surveillance photos of Hetzel and Paris during the checkout process at the hotel, and it indicates that Paris continues to be held against her will.

Paris, 55, was kidnapped by her ex-boyfriend, Hetzel shortly after she left work in the City of Solvang on Sept. 1.   Before her kidnapping, the woman sought a restraining order against her ex-boyfriend, and it was granted, but it wasn't served before she was kidnapped.  Hetzel has served time for crimes related to a domestic incident, deputies said.

At approximately 7:15 a.m. Sunday morning,  morning Paris and Hetzel, were seen at a Starbucks located in the 1300 block of N. Litchfield Road in Goodyear, Arizona. When Paris ordered her coffee drink, she gave the name Virginia. She then went to the bathroom, and when she came out, she told a female customer in the coffee shop that she needed help.

Deputies said Hetzel saw this interaction, grabbed Paris and dragged her out of the shop. He then kicked her into a vehicle and drove off at a high rate of speed, according to law enforcement.

As the vehicle drove off, Paris threw her car registration out of the door, and it was recovered by Goodyear
Police Officers.

The two were possibly on their way to Las Vegas, Nevada.  They are still believed to be driving in Paris’ black 2015 Chrysler 200 with a CA License number of 7NGE514.

The Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office is working closely with the FBI and law enforcement in Nevada and Arizona to locate Paris and Hetzel.

Paris is described as a 55-year-old white woman, approximately 5-feet-6-inches. She has brown hair and brown eyes and is about 150 pounds. She was last seen wearing a light colored shirt. 

Hetzel is described as a 53-year-old white man, 52-years-old, who is 6-feet-2-inches tall.  She has brown hair and hazel eyes and is about 195 pounds. He was last seen wearing a light blue colored shirt.

Hetzel has previously served time in prison for possession of items used to make explosive devices, using explosive devices with the intent to terrorize, felony vandalism and criminal threats. Hetzel is believed to have access to firearms and should be considered armed and dangerous.

If anyone comes in contact with them, do not approach; dial 9-1-1.  According to authorities, Hetzel is considered dangerous and may he be armed.

The Sheriff’s Office is working closely with the Goodyear Police Department and other Arizona authorities to locate and find Paris and Hetzel. Additionally, the Sheriff’s Office is working with the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). A description of the vehicle and the photos of both Paris and Hetzel was sent to Arizona law enforcement and to the local media.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Virginia Paris or Joseph Hetzel should call 911. To leave an anonymous tip, please call the Sheriff’s Anonymous Tip-Line at 805-681-4171 or go here.


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