SURPRISE, Arizona, May 21, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — A massive police search is underway in Surprise, Arizona where an alleged Idaho kidnapper and his victim appear to be on the run after the suspect’s car was found abandoned at the side of a rural road Monday night.
The incident began to unfold earlier in the day when the Arizona Department of Public Safety ‘pinged’ the suspect’s phone near a cell tower in Kingman, Arizona.
About 8 p.m. scanner traffic out of Maricopa County indicated police had spotted and briefly chased the suspect’s car before finding it abandoned on the outskirts of Surprise, near Route 60 roughly 40 miles north of Phoenix.
There were no signs of the victim, Sandra Rios-Chavez, 17, or her suspected kidnapper, estranged boyfriend, 19-year-old Miguel Rodriguez-Perez.
According to a statement by the Idaho State Police, Rios-Chavez was kidnapped about 6 p.m. Sunday in the parking lot of the Wendy’s restaurant where she worked in the small town of Jerome, Idaho, about 15 miles north of Twin Falls.
The FBI said the teen was taken against her will and they believed she was in danger. The decision prompted an Amber Alert in Idaho, Utah and Nevada, which was extended the Arizona Monday afternoon.
Investigators say Rodriguez-Perez and Rios-Chavez had a previous relationship, but a no-contact restraining order against Rodriguez-Perez had been in place for months.
The couple was initially thought to be headed toward Las Vegas in Rodriguez-Perez’s black 2015 Audi A4.
During a press conference Monday night, a spokesman for the Surprise Police Department said their officers were actively searching for the suspect’s car when they came across the vehicle and “attempted to conduct a traffic stop … which suspect subsequently fled. After a short couple of minutes the officers found the vehicle.
“We believe the couple fled on foot,” the spokesman said.
“We are conducting a multi-agency search looking for Sandra and Miguel. We have multiple resources out here — helicopters, dogs and officers from the Peoria Police Department, Goodyear Police Department, Surprise Police Department and the Maricopa County’s Sheriff’s Office.
“We will continue to search for these individuals and we ask that the community please keep an eye out for them. If you do see them, don’t try and confront them, but call 911 immediately.”
Sandra Janet Rios-Chavez has black hair, brown eyes, is 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighs 122 pounds. She was last seen wearing her red Wendy’s work uniform.
Miguel R. Rodriguez-Perez has black hair, brown eyes, is 6 feet tall and weighs 180 pounds. He has tattoos on both arms.
Anyone with information on the couple’s Rios-Chavez’s whereabouts is asked to call Idaho State Police at 208-324-4328 or to dial 911.
Gephardt Daily is following this developing story and will provide new information as it becomes available.