A Denton County woman was rescued from kidnappers late Monday after a dramatic effort by police, sheriff's deputies, federal agents, a Texas Ranger -- and her mother.
Amber Fletcher, 21, whose family introduced Corny Dogs to the Texas State Fair in the 1940s, was abducted early Monday by three men, including a former neighbor, from her home in Double Oak, officers said.
She was found about 12 hours later after one of the men was stopped by officers who were hiding nearby as Fletcher's mother came to him to pay $100,000 in ransom money, said Texas Ranger Tracy Murphree.
The man, later identified as Adolfo Chavez, 39, subsequently led officers to Fletcher and two accomplices, Murphree said.
Amber Fletcher was bound but otherwise unhurt, Murphree said Tuesday morning.
The Ranger called the mother "a real trooper" who, although thoroughly frightened for her daughter, cooperated with officers to help rescue her.
Members of the Fletcher family were unavailable for comment Tuesday. Murphree said he didn't know the mother's first name.
"I just called her Mrs. Fletcher all day long," he said.
Public records indicate that her name is Glenda and her husband is Skip.
"She followed our instructions, even though there were times she didn't understand everything," Murphree said. "Her efforts are responsible for getting her daughter back, and that's what we all hoped for."
Double Oak police were notified of the kidnapping at 10:46 a.m., said Police Chief Jason S. Jones.
The victim’s mother told police that she had received a phone call from her daughter, who "told her that she needed $100,000 or the kidnappers would kill her," Jones said in a news release.
Amber Fletcher lived next door to her parents and stayed with them Sunday night, but when she returned to her own home Monday morning the kidnappers were waiting for her inside, Murphree said.
Help was enlisted from the Denton County Sheriff's Office, members of a U.S. Marshals task force, the FBI and Ranger Murphree, Chief Jones said.
The kidnappers directed the family to bring them the money and officers agreed to let the mother do it, Murphree said.
He added, however, that sheriff's narcotics officers had the "drop" under surveillance. That's when they nabbed Chavez near the intersection of Tudor Road and Forest Glen, according to reports.
"He knew the jig was up," Murphree said.
Chavez told officers where his accomplices would be -- in a white Ford pickup parked at the Bartonville Food Store on Farm Road 407 in Double Oak.
Officers went there about 10:30 p.m. and saw that Amber Fletcher was with them, Murphree said.
"The surveillance unit saw that vehicle and came on it pretty hard," the Ranger said. "They pulled them all out and had them in custody before they knew it."
The other men were identified as Candelario Romero, 44, and Porras Placido, 37.
Murphree questioned all three men but Chavez gave information that conflicted with statements from the other two.
"He downplayed his participation," Murphree said, "and that conflicts with what the other two were saying.
"From what they said, he's pretty much the orchestrator of it all."
All three men were being held Tuesday at the Denton County Jail, charged with aggravated kidnapping, a first-degree felony punishable by up 99 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Jail records show that bond for Chavez was set at $200,000.
He won't be released, however, because there also was a "hold" placed on him by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or "ICE."
The hold indicates he is suspected of being in the U.S. illegally.
Placido was also under an ICE hold. Bond for the kidnapping charge against him was $250,000, according to the records.
Likewise, bond for Romero was set at $250,000 but there was no ICE hold him, the records showed.