CARACAS – The 72-year-old mother of Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Elias Diaz was rescued safe and sound days after kidnappers took her from the family’s home in the western state of Zulia, Venezuelan authorities said.
“Today, thank God, our security forces rescued Mrs. Ana Soto,” Zulia Gov. Omar Prieto wrote on Twitter late Sunday.
He added in a subsequent tweet that he had ordered “the immediate takeover” of a police unit suspected of being linked to the abduction.
Soto was abducted last Thursday from her home in San Francisco, Zulia, while her son was out shopping.
Diaz told EFE that his mother was snatched by four armed men who wrapped Soto in sheets and carried her to a waiting vehicle.
The ballplayer did not pay any ransom for Soto’s safe return, according to La Verdad newspaper, which reported that six people – five of them police officers – were arrested for the kidnapping.
Two other suspects remain at large, La Verdad said.
Diaz, who joined the Pirates in 2015, hit .223 with one home run and 19 RBIs in 64 games last season.