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Immigrant beaten, dumped after being kidnapped

May 22, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

An undocumented immigrant was reportedly beaten, robbed, thrown into a trunk of a vehicle and driven around the county until he was left near Seeley, where he was found by the U.S. Border Patrol this morning.

The 26-year-old victim, whose name was not released, was taken to Pioneers Memorial Hospital in Brawley, where he was treated for facial lacerations and released.

He remained with county Sheriff's Office investigators this morning who were searching for two of three suspects.

One of the three, a 25-year-old Pomona woman who has been staying with family in El Centro, was arrested and booked into county jail on suspicion of armed robbery, assault and kidnapping.

Sheriff's officials declined to release her name out of concern it could impede the effort to arrest the other two suspects. Her bail was set at $100,000.

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According to sheriff's Investigator Jesse Lopez, the victim, from Mexico, crossed the border Friday and became lost.

He made his way to the Seeley area, where he was picked up about 11:30 p.m. Monday by an Imperial Valley man who said he would take the immigrant out of the Valley.

According to reports from the victim, the man drove him from the Seeley area to El Centro and back to Seeley. In that time, the man picked up two women.

At one point the man reportedly told the victim they were going to drive him to Indio.

Instead they took the victim to a remote area of the county south of Seeley. Once there they allegedly beat him with some kind of iron instrument, took his belongings and threw him in the trunk.

Lopez said the victim told authorities he was then driven around before being dropped off in Seeley.

Lopez added the victim was found walking near railroad tracks in the Seeley area by a Border Patrol agent sometime after midnight.

The victim's face was bloody and the agent took him to a location in Seeley where his wounds were treated. The agent then called in sheriff's deputies, who started to investigate the matter and took the victim to Pioneers.

Lopez said evidence led to the arrest of the Pomona woman, who was taken into custody at the El Centro residence where she was staying.

Two other suspects remained at large this morning, although Lopez said deputies hoped to make arrests today.

Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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