LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – Three men are under arrest and another is at large and considered armed and dangerous in a Lakewood kidnapping case. The suspects in the case demanded ransom for the safe exchange of the 27-year-old man they kidnapped. That man — Andres Flores-Paredes — is now safe.
The actual kidnapping took place on Aug. 30. Police said at approximately 8:15 p.m. four men wearing masks and guns walked into an adult store called Christal’s on the 6400 block of West Alameda Avenue.
They “grabbed an adult male at gunpoint, bound his wrists, took him outside the business and while forcing him into a red sedan, fired one shot,” according to a Crime Alert released on Wednesday.
The suspects were wearing black and one of the kidnappers had an AK-47, according to police.
The next day the family of Flores-Paredes began receiving ransom requests from the captors.
“Early the next morning on the 31st we were able to identify the victim based on credit card information we found at the crime scene,” said Lakewood Interim Police Chief Dan McCasky. “We contacted the victim’s family and learned that they were … already contacting Denver PD regarding this abduction and possible ransom request.”
The kidnappers contacted Flores-Paredes’ father and demanded $500,000 of ransom money. The victim’s father, Andres-Flores Zapata, owns the Taco’s Junior store in Lakewood.
He then dropped off $200,000 of the requested ransom money at the family’s ranch in Commerce City. Police said they have since recovered some of that money.
Flores-Paredes was physically assaulted while he was being held captive. He was released by his captors five days after being kidnapped and the exact nature of his injuries hasn’t been disclosed.
Neighbors were surprised the family had been targeted.
“They always have people over. They seem really nice, a lot of family gatherings, a lot of cars. They always seem to have nice, new cars,” said neighbor Trevor Elsen.
State, federal and local authorities announced Wednesday that the following three men were arrested in the case on Monday:
– Jonatan Maldanado-Salgado, 19
– Raymundo Maldanado-Salgado, 22
– Hernando Aguilar-Banuelos, 30
Those suspects were identified in part through a search through cellphone records. Three of the four suspects and the victim are undocumented immigrants.
The suspect who is at large is Marco Cota-Tamaura. Cota-Tamaura is described as being Hispanic and between 5-foot-7 and 5-foot-9.
He weighs approximately 210 pounds, has brown hair, brown eyes and tattoos on the inside of both of his forearms.
“Our work is not done in this particular case,” FBI Special Agent Calvin Shivers said. “We are looking for the public’s assistance to locate the final subject of this investigation.”
There is a $5,000 reward out for information that leads to the arrest of Cota-Tamaura.
Law enforcement officers from several different agencies said during a news conference Wednesday morning that the captors and captive are all involved in the horse racing industry to some degree. They aren’t saying to what the relationship between them is, if there is one.
“Obviously this is an extremely serious case and to be able to recover the 27-year-old victim safely was a huge accomplishment,” Jefferson County District Attorney Pete Weir said. “Being able to place three individuals in custody has been a great accomplishment on the part of all the agencies represented here. And we’re very, very hopeful that the fourth individual will be in custody soon.”
Court records show that Cota-Tamaura’s family had a dispute with the victim over horses at the victim’s ranch in Commerce City. Authorities say he had been planning the kidnapping for years.