Kidnapping investigation underway in Bella Vista community north of Plum Grove

The Liberty County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in locating a vehicle involved in a kidnapping around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Bella Vista subdivision north of Plum Grove.

The victim – 32-year-old Erika Rios Valdez – reportedly was forced into a vehicle at gunpoint outside her home on CR 3404 and has not been seen since then.

“Erika was unhooking a food service trailer at her house when a man named Abel Fajardo, 38, came up with a gun and forced her into his truck. Her brother tried to stop him from abducting Erika by chasing after them in his car but he was unable to stop the suspect from fleeing the area,” said Capt. Ken DeFoor, a spokesperson for the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office.

Fajardo was driving a 2005 GMC white dually diesel pickup with an Illinois license plate. On the back window of the pickup is the word “Duramax.”

When asked if Valdez knew the suspect, DeFoor said Valdez was an acquaintance of the victim. A motive for the kidnapping is still unknown.

Valdez is described as 5-foot, 4-inches tall, weighing 120 pounds with brown eyes and brown hair with blonde highlights. She was last seen wearing a black sweater and jeans.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office by calling 936-336-4500 or the Multi-County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-392-STOP (7867). Anyone calling Crime Stoppers will remain anonymous and may receive a cash reward for the information provided that results in the arrest of the suspect in this case. The lead investigator is Shandolynn Rhame.

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.


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