A Texas couple has been kidnapped at gunpoint by two suspects who broke into their home and “forcefully” led them into a white SUV in front of their five young children.
The parents — identified by friends as Samantha Esquivel-Zuniga, 38, and Ricky Zuniga, 37 — were ambushed at their home in Mission Bell Wednesday morning, the Daily Mail reported.
“The suspects kicked down the door, entered the home, took the two adults, and fled the scene,” San Antonio Police Officer Ricardo Guzman told ABC 13.
Police said they arrived at the residence after a call around 6 a.m. to find the couple’s children — all of whom are under the age of 17 — unharmed.
“We located five juveniles inside the house. No injuries, they were unharmed,” Guzman said.
The children told the cops that their parents were taken by unknown suspects who loaded the couple into a white SUV before driving away, police told KENS 5.
No motive for the kidnapping has been released.
As authorities searched for the parents, friends and family took to social media to express hope for their safe return.
“Please everyone in the name of Jesus Christ we need prayers for my family/best friends Ricky and Samantha Zuniga! We all need them to come home safe!” Ida DeLeon wrote on Facebook.
“This morning was so hard to believe that this had really happened! My heart broke for you and the kids! Please Lord, bring them home safe and sound for their children especially.”
John Garcia Jr. also begged his Facebook followers, “Man if anyone knows ANYTHING LET US [KNOW], ain’t no rest til these two, Ricky and Samantha Esquivel-Zuniga come home.
“God, I’ve come to you less than a handful of times in my life for something I really, really loved or needed, but this right here, PLEASE IN THE NAME OF UR SON JESUS watch over my brother ‘n sister and just bring them home.”
He later wrote: “I [know] y’all story don’t end like this, ain’t no f–king way! So I’m just patiently waiting on that phone call.”
“We have no idea where they were taken, and the police and FBI are investigating,” a woman who goes by Mujer Fiera wrote on Facebook, identifying herself as Samantha’s cousin.
“Growing up, she was my neighbor and the person who nicknamed me ‘Honey,’” Fiera recounted.
“I was part of the crew that welcomed her home as a baby and made it my goal to be a part of her care team.
“She has since grown up into a fierce young woman, raising her five children and little sister.
“She’s an incredible survivor, and I pray that she can come home safely to her babies very soon.”
San Antonio police are now asking neighbors to hand over any surveillance footage that could reveal more about the kidnappers and where they fled.
“Detectives are currently investigating this incident as a kidnapping and the investigation is ongoing,” Guzman told the San Antonio Express-News.
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