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Two Sunnyside men arrested in kidnapping case

Heriberto Martinez, 24, and Pedro Mendoza, 25, were arrested at a Sunnyside residence by Yakima Police officers in connection with the kidnapping of a 63-year-old Yakima woman.

"The charges will probably be first degree kidnapping and first degree robbery," Capt. Jeff Schneider said early this morning (Wednesday), before the two men were to appear in Yakima County Superior Court to hear the charges against them.

"Their arraignment will probably be tomorrow (Thursday) or the next morning," said Schneider.

The charges against them stem from abduction of a woman jogging in the 7000 block of Scenic Drive in Yakima, on Saturday, Oct. 8. The woman, whom Schneider declined to identify, was forced into a car by two men, requested to give up money, which she didn't have, and was released five hours later in a field near Sunnyside.

According to Capt. Schneider, the men took a ring from the woman, which has been recovered.

Arrest of the two men came from a "lucky break", said Schneider.

"Several days prior to the incident, a contractor working in the Scenic Drive area was suspicious of a car in the area. He figured they might try to steal a car or construction material, so he got in a vehicle and followed them. He caught up with them in the vicinity of 40th Avenue and took photos of the car," said Schneider.

"In several, the license plate could be seen. He just held onto them, and then when he heard in the media about the kidnapping incident, he gave us the camera and photos.

"That's the only break we got in the case. We had no other evidence at that time. Since then, we have a mountain of evidence," said Schneider. "We had a very lucky break and then a lot of very dedicated people working hard to solve this, a lot of team work."

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