By Jenny Paulson – The yellow mustang that followed the vehicle driven by suspect Mauricio Venzo-Gonzalez, 22, may have been driven by an unsung hero in the highly publicized kidnapping case this week. Gonzales reportedly held his former girlfriend, Samantha Adams, and her one year old son, Zahid, at gunpoint August 31, at a house in Commerce City, by Denver, then fled south on I-25.
The story lead to an extensive and highly publicized Front-Range search for the mother and son that included multiple law enforcement agencies including the Pueblo Police Department, Colorado Springs Police Department and the FBI in Southern Colorado, who worked in collaboration with the Colorado State Patrol and the Adams County Sheriff’s Department, which had jurisdiction of the case.
Amber Alerts were sent out and the male driver of the yellow mustang called the Colorado State Patrol, according to audio from a scanner provided by Dan Wall, saying that he spotted the Honda with license number EVQ-410 that Gonzalez was said to be driving. The driver of the yellow mustang apparently followed the vehicle to Pueblo and continued to alert law enforcement on its whereabouts, first on the north side of Pueblo, where scanner communication said officers were casing around the movie theater.
The State Patrol did a twitter report and a following Amber Alert was issued, saying at about 2:45 pm the vehicle was found, but that the mother and son were missing. Someone on Facebook said he and his family were terrified when they were surrounded by officers at the north Walmart, alleging that he looked like the suspect in the Amber Alert case, but he wasn’t him.
Adams County, shortly after the 2:45 Amber Alert, reported on their twitter page that the grey vehicle had not been found and that reports were in error. Missing persons websites throughout the country started listing them as missing as the public panicked and tried to help find them.
According to scanner communication, law enforcement cased the fairground area, arrived at the door of someone who could be Gonzalez’s cousin and then finally Gonzalez’s Honda was reportedly found empty at about 3:45 pm in an alley at 1741 Cypress in Pueblo near St. Mary-Corwin Hospital at about 3:45 pm.
Police were able to obtain a neighbor’s video, which showed the three leaving the abandoned Honda and police were able to identify their descriptions and clothing. The driver of the yellow mustang may have been key to local police finding the vehicle, as someone at the Pueblo Police Department’s Facebook reported verified what may be the same vehicle shortly before the suspect’s car was reported found.
“Is Law Enforcement looking for a yellow Mustang, possibly involved with the mother and child abduction? I work at the hospital, and a little bit before the Honda was found, I saw a newer yellow Mustang. It stopped at the stop sign on Orman and Minnequa Aves,” said Scott Chase to the police.
Chase continued: “I work security at the hospital and was standing outside. The Mustang then drove past the hospital at a high rate of speed. I only saw oner person inside, the driver, who was a Hispanic male… I noted the car because the driver was driving dangerously fast.”
Some residents in Pueblo reported to us that they personally drove around Pueblo trying to locate those involved, worried about the safety of the mother and her young son. One Pueblo resident said he drove to Stem Beach and all over the south side to no avail. Law enforcement alerted the public, saying they may have been heading south on I-25 towards Trinidad and Facebook users from Pueblo sent alerts to their friends in the Trinidad area asking for them to be on the watch.
Then finally the drama ended in part late Friday afternoon to the relief of the public and law enforcement, when the suspect, mother and child, were spotted at a light rail station in Denver. The Amber Alert was canceled after the abducted mother and son were put in the hands of law enforcement and were taken to a local hospital.
However, law enforcement sadly reported that the suspect fled east and is on the run. Adams County held a press release at about 6 pm Friday, admitted that there was much confusion about the case, that the car was reported found before it was, the name of the child spelled wrong at first, and more but that law enforcement had worked together to successfully apprehend the mother and son before they may have been hurt.
Reportedly, two woman had picked the three up in “a remote area” in Pueblo and kept them at her house overnight, then helped them get travel to Denver, having no idea that they were in the news, and thinking they were being “good samaritans. RTD light rail security officers spotted the three on a light rail train about 1 pm and called for help on the radio. The suspect cussed at a security guard in Spanish and ran as soon as the train stopped at the Delaware station, and law enforcement didn’t see him before he fled (but on video lately confirming he did), and helped the victims.
RTD surveillance video shows the three of them at Delaware and pictures were released of the scene. An RTD worker said the mother and son seemed frightened and scared. Gonzales, is still at large and wanted, and law enforcement says he should be considered armed and dangerous. He is described as a hispanic male, 5’6, brown hair and eyes, with tattoos on his legs. Police say they won’t be at rest until they find Gonzales.
We don’t know anything further at this point about the yellow mustang who may have helped Pueblo police initially locate the vehicle, other then scanner communication said that he was following the suspect’s vehicle to Pueblo, and that the same car may have been there before the abandoned vehicle was found. If he was indeed assisting police, the Hispanic driver may have put his own in life danger by helping as the man was and still is considered armed and dangerous.
If you have any information about the driver of the yellow car, we’d like to know more. If you have any information about those involved in the case, or the whereabouts of Gonzales, please contact local law enforcement.
Jenny Paulson is publisher of www.SouthernColoadoIndependent.com and covered this case minute by minute as it broke, with the assistance of Dan Wall, who admins the Pueblo Scanner alert page on Facebook and continually posts scanner communications on current cases – https://www.facebook.com/groups/puebloscanneralert/