Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

WV State News

January 31, 2014

Martinsburg man arrested for kidnapping elderly woman

CHARLES TOWN — — A Martinsburg man has been arrested for kidnapping an elderly woman and locking her inside his residence. Alvaro A. Vilela, 49, has been charged with kidnapping, unlawful restraint, violent crimes against the elderly, extortion and financial exploitation of the elderly.

Authorities found the 74-year-old woman on Friday morning. The doors and windows of the residence were secured with plywood and screws, said the West Virginia State Police.

The search for the victim began on Jan. 24 when Trooper C. J. Hill, of the Charles Town Detachment of the West Virginia State Police, received a call requesting a well-being check. Authorities were unable to locate the woman. Over the source of several days, friends of the victim began receiving odd phone calls and emails. Hill also received a phone call from the victim and became suspicious.

According to a press release from the State Police, Hill tried to call her back. The State Police also received phone calls from financial institutions reporting that the victim was attempting to move money, which was out of her character. Hill was able to use phone records to track the phone to the suspect’s home

The press release states that Vilela forced his way into the woman’s home. Then, beat her, tied her up and kidnapped her. For six days, she was held against her will and forced to transfer money from her accounts to other bank accounts.

The victim was transported to a local hospital.


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