According to the FBI, a Priest from Clint, visiting Juarez to celebrate Mass was the victim of a ‘virtual kidnapping.’
In a Wednesday afternoon news release, the Diocese of El Paso say they were alerted Tuesday evening that Fr. Faustino Ortiz-Suarez, M.N.M* of San Lorenzo Parish in Clint, was allegedly kidnapped in Juarez.
Diocese officials say Father Ortiz-Suarez was there to celebrate Mass, however the details about what happened in Juarez are still developing.
Officials with the FBI told that Diocese that Fr. Faustino was the victim of a “virtual kidnapping” on Monday; per the FBI a ‘virtual kidnapping typically involves suspects getting victim’s identity – including their cell phone number. That allows the perpetrator to threaten the victim to drop out of site while a ransom is demanded.
FBI officials add that should the victim not “disappear,” the perpetrator threatens harm to the victim’s family and friends.
Diocese officials say, “At this time, we don’t know if this is exactly how Fr. Faustino’s incident occurred and/or who made the threats…a ransom of $5,000 was demanded of the parish however, it was not paid. Fr. Faustino determined that his life was not in danger and he came back into El Paso Tuesday night…(he is) unharmed.”
Officials added, “The Diocese of El Paso is grateful for the work of the FBI which is investigating this incident…(and) Juarez Police who are also working on the case.”