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California woman abducted by ex-boyfriend may be Las Vegas bound

LOS ANGELES — Law enforcement officials in California are searching for a man who they say kidnapped his former girlfriend several days ago and may be headed to Las Vegas.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department said Monday that 52-year-old Joseph Hetzel kidnapped his ex-girlfriend on Friday.

Sheriff’s officials say 55-year-old Virginia Paris had a restraining order against Hetzel. They believe he kidnapped her in Solvang and then drove to Arizona.

Investigators say Paris begged a customer for help at a coffee shop in Goodyear, Arizona, on Sunday, but Hetzel pulled her away and shoved her into a car.

Authorities say the two were seen Monday checking out of a hotel in Valle, Arizona, and may be headed to Las Vegas. Authorities said they were believed to be traveling in Paris’ black 2015 Chrysler 200 with a California license plate number of 7NGE514.

An FBI spokeswoman says the agency is assisting in the probe.

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