A 17-year-old was rescued from a Southern California hotel on Friday, four days after he was kidnapped and held for ransom.
According to The Associated Press, the teen was found on the floor of the hotel by law enforcement officials after his captors told his family that if they did not pay a $500,000 ransom, he would be hurt.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles said last Monday that the kidnappers crashed into the boy’s car as he was driving in San Bernardino County and abducted him.
According to authorities, a doorbell camera recorded the kidnapping.
Federal prosecutors said that the kidnappers called the boy’s mother and demanded the $500,000 ransom. The call came from a Mexican phone number, The San Bernardino Sun reported.
The men repeatedly called her over four days and threatened to harm her son if the family did not pay, the AP reported.
“Few things can be as terrorizing to a parent as having your child kidnapped and held for ransom under threat of physical harm,” U.S. Attorney Martin Estrada said in a statement. The family did not pay the ransom.
Fidel Jesús Patino Jaimes, 22, Jair Tomás Ramos Domínguez, 26, and Ezequiel Felix López, 27, who told law enforcement they were from Santa Maria, were charged Friday night with kidnapping, a felony that carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, the U.S. Department of Justice said.
The teen was also seen on a video being forced to read from a script saying the abduction was his father’s fault for an incident that allegedly occurred in New York, authorities said.
Law enforcement officials said they used a Facebook Marketplace posting and the doorbell camera footage to track the victim and the suspects to Santa Maria, California.