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article imageOfficials say Wilson Ramos is alive but few details given

By Leigh Goessl     Nov 10, 2011 in Sports
Valencia - Yesterday Wilson Ramos, catcher for the Washington Nationals baseball team, was kidnapped in Venezuela where he had returned to play winter ball in his native country during the American off-season.
Update Nov. 11 10:20 p.m.: ESPN TV has reported Wilson is with authorities and on his way home. Details are still unfolding, but he is alive and well and en route to his family. Adam Kilgore, Washington Post, reports, "Ramos was freed in the mountains of Montalban in the state of Carabobo in central Venezuela, said the government’s Communications Minister, Andres Izarra. The area is roughly 40 miles northwest of Valencia, where four gunmen abducted him Wednesday evening."
On Wednesday witnesses said four gunmen took Ramos from his mother's home in Valencia and the suspects were said to have been driving a vehicle that has been described as a SUV.
The vehicle was discovered today by police in a town situated not far from the location where the kidnapping took place; the SUV was found in Bejuma, about 25 miles west of the place where Ramos was taken. According to the Associated Press, Justice Minister Tareck El Aissami, called finding the vehicle "a very important find."
Thursday afternoon the Washington Post is reporting that Ramos is alive, but no details are being shared by officials at this time.
Venezuelan police Twitter feed reported without elaboration that Ramos is alive. “State law enforcement officials confirm ballplayer Ramos alive,” according to the Post's translation.
As of this time reportedly the kidnappers have not made any contact with the family.
The Nationals ballclub and Major League Baseball have not said much during this horrifying ordeal, earlier reports indicated the club did not have any additional information. Today a statement was released which said:
"Our foremost concern is with Wilson Ramos and his family and our thoughts are with them at this time. Major League Baseball's department of investigations is working with the appropriate authorities on this matter. Both Major League Baseball and the Washington Nationals have been instructed to make no further comment."
Ramos is a 24-year-old catcher, who arrived in Washington after a trade in 2010. He spent his rookie season with the Nationals, a rising star, having a terrific first season with the Nats.
This story will be updated as more information is released.
Update Nov. 11 3 p.m.: Wilson Ramos remains missing as of Friday afternoon. The Washington Post reported this afternoon the family has still not been contacted by the abductors. Reports say over 300 agents are actively working the case and the second vehicle used in the kidnapping has been found.
Fans this evening are planning a vigil outside Nationals stadium.
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