DENVER — A Colorado woman said she was trying to help three people in need when she unknowingly took in a man suspected of kidnapping a woman and child who also stayed at her home.
Carol Archuleta of Pueblo didn’t learn who she had fed and sheltered until the day after giving them a ride to Denver, 115 miles (185 kilometers) north, The Denver Post reported Saturday (http://dpo.st/2gshnaR ).
Authorities said the two victims were found but the man accused of abducting them, 22-year-old Mauricio Venzor-Gonzalez, is still being sought.
Investigators said Venzor-Gonzalez kidnapped his ex-girlfriend and their 18-month-old son at gunpoint from a Denver-area home Thursday. Authorities issued an Amber Alert, and Venzor-Gonzalez’s car was found abandoned in Pueblo a few hours later.
Archuleta said she and her adult granddaughter were driving in Pueblo that day when they spotted a man, a woman and a child who looked out of place and in need of help.
“I stopped, I just felt compelled to help them,” said Archuleta, who recounted her story Friday outside a Denver-area sheriff’s office.
The man said they had been thrown out of his aunt’s house in Pueblo and had no place to stay, Archuleta said. She drove them to a store to buy diapers and then put them up for the night in a spare bed in her garage.
Archuleta said the man offered to pay for her gas, but the woman was withdrawn and quiet. The toddler seemed happy.
Archuleta said she asked, almost jokingly, if they were the three people described in the Amber Alert. The man denied it, saying, “I don’t have a car,” she said.
Archuleta said a friend visited her Thursday night and met her three guests. The next day, the friend recognized the trio in the Amber Alert.
He tried to call Archuleta but couldn’t reach her, so he called police. Police called Archuleta on her cellphone, but she had already dropped off the trio.
Later Friday, a security officer spotted the three at a light rail station and approached them. The man took off, leaving the woman and child behind.
Adams County sheriff’s spokeswoman Amanda Overton said deputies consider Venzor-Gonzalez armed and dangerous.
“Mauricio, please turn yourself in,” Overton said at a news conference Friday. “We beg of you.”
Information from: The Denver Post, http://www.denverpost.com