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Actresses Esmeralda Ugalde and Vanessa Aria said they were in the truck with Sandí when they were hijacked by robbers

By Joelle Goldstein
November 25, 2019 09:09 PM
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Alejandro Sandí
Credit: Victor Chavez/WireImage

Alejandro Sandí is lucky to be alive after he was kidnapped during a truck hijacking in Mexico, only to be rescued by authorities just 24 hours later.

The Telemundo actor, best known for his work on the series El Senor de los Cielos, went missing on Sunday morning after the SUV he was driving was robbed near the Nevado de Toluca volcano, a popular tourist destination in Mexico City.

A French citizen, identified as Frédéric Michel, was also kidnapped, according to Mexico Daily News. He was traveling in a separate all-terrain vehicle.

Fellow actresses Esmeralda Ugalde and Vanessa Aria, who were in the SUV during the time of the incident, recalled the terrifying encounter in a video on Instagram prior to Sandí and Michel’s rescue on Monday.

“Good evening to all of our followers and the media,” a distraught Ugalde began. “We wanted to share with you an experience that we had to live through today in the morning around 8 a.m.”

“We were hanging out like any other tourist and any other family visiting Nevado de Toluca, which is nearby Mexico City, when some armed suspects blocked our way and took Vanessa’s truck,” she continued. “They took everything. They took my truck. Our bags. Our phones.”

While they were upset to lose their belongings, Ugalde and Aria revealed that it was even more traumatizing to watch the robbers kidnap “one of [their] best friends.”

“The material things don’t matter to us, what matters is that we were victims and felt unsafe,” Aria said, before the actresses pleaded with the public for prayers.

“Obviously, we’re already taking the necessary steps,” Ugalde said. “We filed a police report, the authorities are already doing their job. That’s why we can’t give any further information, in order to not delay the process.”

“We’re confident that Alejandra is okay and we’re sending good vibes,” she continued, as she wrapped her arms around Aria. “We’re asking for your prayers so he can come back home safe.”

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Shortly after their emotional video was posted to Instagram, Mexican officials confirmed that they had rescued Sandí and Michel in a press release.

“After becoming aware of the fact, communication was established with the French Embassy, ​​and research and intelligence work was carried out for the location of the victims, who once released, received the corresponding attention,” the statement says.

At this time, no suspects have been named. A rep for Sandí could not immediately be found by PEOPLE.

Prior to his abduction, Sandí had posted a photo to Instagram from his time in Mexico, featuring him sitting waterside in what appeared to be a relaxing moment.

“BREATHE,” he captioned the shot. “When you don’t have time, when you think everything is complicated, when you’re not having a good time, when you can’t sleep, when you’re under pressure, when you’re feeling low on energy … # Breathe.”

In addition to his work on El Senor de los Cielos, Sandí is known for starring on La rosa de Guadalupe, Sr. Ávila, and Telemundo’s Señora Acero.