The suspects were wanted in Tijuana for a 2013 kidnapping case that involved a U.S. university student living in Mexico who was studying in San Diego.
By H. Nelson Goodson
May 14, 2014
Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico - On Tuesday both sisters, Rosa Angélica Morales Martínez, 18, and Karla Morales Martínez, 19, originally from Tijuana were taken into custody by agents of the Sinaloa Anti-kidnapping Unit in the municipality of Rosario, Sinaloa in connection with the December 12, 2013 kidnapping of a U.S. student from the University of San Diego. The Martínez sisters were wanted in Tijuana for kidnapping charges, but had fled to Rosario to avoid prosecution.
Rosa is accused of using Facebook to befriend the student and later their friendship progressed to a boyfriend and girlfriend relationship. The sister's intent was to eventually kidnapped the student and get a ransom.
On December, the student from the University of San Diego who resided at the Guaycura Gardens neighborhood met Rosa for a date. The sisters with the help of three other suspects, Luis Fernando Valenzuela Jiménez, 18, Jesus Everardo Moreno Valencia, 27, and Luis Fernando Quintero Ontiveros kidnapped the student at gunpoint.
The next day, they contacted the family that the 23-year-old student was kidnapped and that they wanted $170,000 dollars ransom to release the victim. Five days later, authorities found the location of the safehouse in Vista Bella where the kidnapping victim was being held and two of the suspects, Luis Fernando Valenzuela Jiménez and Jesus Everardo Moreno Valencia were taken into custody.
Jiménez told authorities that he was recruited by the sisters and at the time he was unemployed. He used some of the ransom money to buy clothes and other items. In one kidnapping case, they got $20,000 pesos ($1,539 U.S.) and a second, they received $40,000 pesos ($3,077 U.S.), according to Jiménez.
Then in April of this year, Luis Fernando Quintero Ontiveros was taken into custody.
The suspects confessed that Rosa was the leader of the kidnapping gang and that they participated in three kidnappings in Tijuana. The sisters used Facebook to lure victims with friendships and relationships. Three kidnapping cases that the gang committed are still pending, according to the Baja California Delinquency, Kidnapping and Organized Crime Investigating Unit.