The 11-year-old son of Colorado Rockies catcher Yorvit Torrealba was rescued from kidnappers in Venezuela on Wednesday evening, a day and a half after he was taken while on his way to school, according to multiple reports.
The Rockies issued a statement regarding the matter Thursday afternoon, with club president Keli McGregor saying: "Our organization is relieved that the situation was resolved with the safe return of Yorvit's family members, and we will continue to support Yorvit and his family through what has been an extremely emotional situation. Yorvit knows that he can take the time he needs and will rejoin the club when the time is right."
Media reports in Venezuela said the rescue was carried out by the Venezuelan government's Anti-Extortion and Kidnapping Command, in conjunction with local police in Guarenas and Higuerote.
According to 2001.com.ve and noticiaaldia.com, authorities posing as representatives of Torrealba paid a portion of the 2 million bolivares (about $931,000 U.S.) that the kidnappers had demanded in ransom. Upon receiving an undisclosed amount short of what they had sought, the culprits fled and left Torrealba's son and his two uncles, who they were also holding, on a highway in Araira.
There were some conflicting reports on the details. The Caracas newspaper, De todo en diversions, which the Denver Post cited in an online report, said that no ransom was paid.
The Rockies' statement, based on information from MLB Security, said it was Torrealba's son and brother-in-law who were kidnapped and are now safe. Other reports indicated that the boy and two relatives were kidnapped.
A police spokesman said the alleged kidnappers have been identified, but have not been captured.
According to Venezuelan media reports, Torrealba's son, whose name MLB.com is electing not to disclose and who turns 12 next month, and two uncles, who were taking him to school, were kidnapped on Tuesday morning in Guarenas, Venezuela.
Torrealba played for the Rockies on Monday night and threw out two would-be base stealers in the Rockies' 4-1 loss. The next day he received word of the kidnapping and flew immediately to Venezuela.
The Rockies were aware of the situation, but under directions from the police and Major League Baseball's security department, they did not comment beyond confirming that Torrealba had left the club for personal reasons. The Rockies placed Torrealba on the restricted list, which allowed them to replace him on the 25-man active roster and 40-man Major League roster.
David Venn and Thomas Harding are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.