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Thieves tell woman they're holding her daughter for ransom

Police searching for couple wanted for kidnapping, robbing woman


MIAMI – Police are looking for a duo wanted for kidnapping a 58-year-old woman and robbing her of her jewelry after telling her that they were holding her daughter for ransom.

"I was very scared, like I was having a heart attack," said Marianela Gando.

According to the Miami Police Department, after Gando left a beauty supply store Sept. 30 shortly before 8 p.m., the man and woman pulled up to her as she walked along Northwest Seventh Street and told her that her daughter had been kidnapped and she should get inside the gray Nissan Passenger van they were driving.

"They had a gun and they were trying to intimidate me," Gando said. "They said they'd help me get my kidnapped daughter back."

But her daughter hadn't been kidnapped. Gando called her and she picked up saying she couldn't talk because she was at work. The suspects told Gando her daughter was instructed to say that.

"Finally they drove me to my home and told me to get jewelry and money, whatever I had," said Gando.

She ran up to her apartment while the crooks waited down the block and grabbed whatever cash and jewelry she had at home -- about $4,000 worth in total she said -- and brought it to the alleged kidnappers. She grabbed her phone and they told her to make a second trip up for more. When she returned they were gone.

"I knew this was a bad situation, but at that moment I couldn't think straight," she said.

She said she is thankful that her and her daughter are OK. But she is clearly still hurt and shaken.

Police said they are now looking for the duo. The man is described as white, age 25-30, 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighing approximately 180 pounds. He was last seen wearing a purple shirt and brown pants.

The woman is described as white, age 30-35, 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighing 200 pounds. She was last seen wearing a blue, long-sleeved shirt and blue jeans.

Anyone with any information on the identities of the couple or their whereabouts is asked to contact the Miami Police Department at 305-603-6370.

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