Pittsburgh Pirates Catcher Elias Diaz's Mother Rescued After Being Kidnapped in Venezuela
Ana Soto, 72, was taken from her home in the town of Maracaibo on Thursday, with the alleged kidnappers making their move about 15 minutes after Elias Diaz left the house
Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Elias Diaz’s mother is back with her family after she was kidnapped allegedly by rogue police officers in her home country of Venezuela.
Ana Soto, 72, was taken from her home in the town of Maracaibo on Thursday, with the alleged kidnappers making their move about 15 minutes after Diaz left the house, according to the BBC. The catcher had been visiting his mother before spring training in Florida began.
Zulia state Gov. Omar Prieto tweeted the news of her rescue on Sunday on Twitter.
“Thank God, today, our security forces rescued Mrs. Ana Soto, mother of the Zulian big league player, Elias Diaz,” a translation of the tweet read. “I want to congratulate POLISUR, CICPC, and CPBEZ for the intelligence work that allowed this happy outcome.”
In a second tweet, Prieto wrote that police from a canine anti-drug team was being investigated for “alleged involvement” in the kidnapping.
Douglas Rico, the director of Venezuela’s investigative police force, shared a photo of Soto and her sons on Twitter after she was taken to a local hospital.
Authorities allegedly found her in the home of a police officer where she was being held, according to the BBC.
The Pittsburgh Pirates team president Frank Coonelly released a statement on Monday addressing Soto’s rescue.
“The Pittsburgh Pirates are relieved and overjoyed to learn that Elias Diaz’ mother, Ana Soto, has been rescued and safely reunited with her family,” the statement read. “We are incredibly grateful for the swift and effective work of the local law enforcement officials in Venezuela who brought this terrifying act to the safe conclusion for which we had all prayed. As an organization, we will continue to support Elias and his family as they move forward together.”
While Diaz did not share the news of his mother’s kidnapping or her rescue on social media, he did wish his mother a happy birthday in June.
“Happy birthday to the woman of my life❤the fighter, the one i have not seen bothered for a single day of my life🙈I love you Mommy sent you a super kiss from a distance, soon we will be together again🙏🏻I thank God for another year of life that he gives you pretty old lady😘😘😘if i expressed everything i feel right now, i wouldn’t find the words. I love you happy birthday beautiful mother.”