Story By: Juan Fenandez Mayes, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
A female hostage who was kidnapped by her ex-partner at the start of the COVID-19 lockdown has been rescued after she wrote an SOS on a banknote used to pay for food.
The incident occurred in the Las Catonas neighbourhood in the city of Moreno located in the eastern Argentine province of Buenos Aires when the victim, identified as Raquel Campos, was kidnapped by her partner Omar Sasso Pereira, 40.
Her ex-partner allegedly kidnapped her after the nationwide lockdown was announced.
Local media said Sasso Pereira went to Campos’ house and put a knife to her back, threatening to stab and kill her if she tried to escape. He broke her mobile phone and forced her to live with him shortly after the lockdown was announced.
After Campos told her captor she was hungry, the pair went to a local shop to buy some food.
Sasso Pereira continued to threaten Campos with the knife in public by saying he was going to “kick her teeth in”, “stab her” and “I will kill you”.
Campos used a 10-ARS (0.12-GBP) banknote to pay for food with the message: “SOS. Help. Doctor Carrique. I am Julian Campos’ mother. I need help. I beg you.”
It is unclear who Dr Carrique is.
According to reports, the victim also used the banknote to write “come urgently, I am with a psychopath” and included her phone number and name as well as the suspect’s details on a separate piece of paper.
The shop assistant, named Veronica, contacted the local authorities who later went to the house and detained the alleged captor after holding Campos against her will for more than two weeks.
District Attorney Lucas Oyhanarte told local media that Sasso Pereira “deprived her of her freedom for many days, keeping her locked up and forcing her to live with him”.
The image shows Sosa Pereira after he was detained. He reportedly remains in custody although it is unclear if he has been charged yet.
According to the latest figures by Johns Hopkins University, Argentina has reported 1,894 cases of COVID-19 leading to 79 related deaths.
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