The son of the 57-year-old Vallejo woman who was kidnapped almost two weeks ago said he did not believe kidnappers when they sent him a text message saying they had taken his mother and were demanding money.
“I thought it was a joke. I didn’t think it was real,” John Babb, 36, said of the request for $60,000. Babb spoke at a news conference Tuesday at the Vallejo Police Department.
The search for Elvira Babb has spanned almost two weeks and has led to the arrest of four suspects, three in Sacramento County. All four were booked into the Solano County jail Friday and Saturday on kidnapping charges.
On Monday, Emmanuel Espinoza, described by police as the ringleader in the suspected plot, pleaded not guilty to kidnapping charges and was held on a $1 million bond. He is said to have known the victim. Suspect Larry Young, 23, also pleaded not guilty to kidnapping for ransom charges during his Tuesday arraignment, said Solano County Deputy Chief Sharon Henry.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Sacramento Bee
I pray everyday that I see my mom again. It’s been a complete nightmare.
John Babb, 36, whose mother, Elvira Babb, 57, has been missing since July 1
Suspects Lovely Rauzol and Jalon Brown are scheduled to appear in court Wednesday, she said.
“I pray every day that I see my mom again,” John Babb said. “It’s been a complete nightmare.”
Babb said he received a text message on June 30 at around 8:45 p.m. from an anonymous number. The message said his mother had been kidnapped and taken hostage. The kidnappers demanded $60,000 if he wanted to see his mother again, he said.
The text message came a day after police said Elvira Babb was last seen when she was dropped off at a Vallejo supermarket by a co-worker after their shift at ProLab Orthotics in Napa. Babb has worked there for 21 years.
Babb said he began to worry after several calls to his mother went straight to her voicemail. He went to his mother’s home that night, but she was not there, he said. Instead, he found her chihuahua, Rocky, dead, with no signs of forced entry into the home. The next day, John Babb contacted Vallejo police.
John Babb said his mother, who lived alone with Rocky, came to the United States from the Philippines when he was a toddler. Elvira Babb also has a daughter, 25.
At this point, we’re really relying on people to phone in. Somebody that may have known the suspects or may have seen them with a woman.
Lt. Jeff Bassett, a spokesperson for the Vallejo Police Department
Dan DeMars, a human resource manager at ProLab Orthotics, described Babb as “such a sweet and kind person.”
“This is not something that (Babb) deserves,” DeMars said after the news conference.
According to John Babb, his mother was barely able to pay rent and did not have any known enemies. He urged anyone who might have information to come forward.
Investigators are searching an area from Sacramento to Stockton, since three of the four suspects had ties to the area. But Lt. Jeff Bassett, a spokesman for the Vallejo Police Department, said officials are not ruling out other locations.
“At this point, we’re really relying on people to phone in,” he said. “Somebody that may have known the suspects or may have seen them with a woman.” Bassett said.