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Ramos rescued, returning home

Nov 12, 2011, 2:57 AM EDT

Photo via Kathe Vilera
Wilson Ramos, following his rescue this evening.

Updated at 11:35 p.m.

Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos was rescued by Venezuelan police this evening in a mountainous area west of his hometown and is returning to his house where elated family members and friends await his arrival.

The 24-year-old was found “safe and sound,” according to Venezuelan justice minister Tareck El Aissami, roughly 51 hours after he was abducted by four armed men outside his home near Valencia.

Family members spoke on the phone with Ramos, who told them he was “healthy and well,” according to close family friend Marfa Mata.

“The news from Venezuela tonight is reassuring,” Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said in a statement released by the club. “Though details are limited and we have not yet talked directly with Wilson, we are thrilled with reports that he has been rescued and is being safely returned to his family. We greatly appreciate all the prayers and thoughts of all who have joined us in wishing for this conclusion to what has been a nightmarish 48 hours. We are eager to see Wilson and let him know just how many all over the world have been waiting for this news.”

It’s not yet known how authorities located Ramos or how the rescue operation was performed, but the Venezuelan government reported three men in custody, including one who is a Colombian citizen linked
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  1. Will - Nov 12, 2011 at 2:58 AM

    Whoever your deity of choice is, give a thanks to Him (or Her) for bringing Wilson back safely. I know I will.

  2. whatsanattau - Nov 12, 2011 at 2:59 AM

    Sweet!!!

  3. Frediemac - Nov 12, 2011 at 2:59 AM

    Thank You God. Thank you God

  4. Oldguy - Nov 12, 2011 at 3:00 AM

    Fantastic News!

  5. John C. - Nov 12, 2011 at 3:04 AM

    Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful news!!!! Three cheers for #3, safe and sound! Huzzah!

  6. whatsanattau - Nov 12, 2011 at 3:08 AM

    Walk Off !!!!

  7. Anonymous - Nov 12, 2011 at 3:11 AM

    Bang! Zoom! That is just wonderful news. A real curly "W"

  8. Golfersal - Nov 12, 2011 at 3:11 AM

    All of the prayers of every fan of baseball has been answered.Now it's time for every player to get the hell out of Venezuela, it's too dangerous of a country to live and visit.

  9. sm13 - Nov 12, 2011 at 3:12 AM

    Great news for Wilson, Wilson's family, and the Nats family!

  10. Section 109 - Nov 12, 2011 at 3:14 AM

    Oh thank God! What a huge relief for us, so imagine what it is for Wilson and his family! Thank you for letting us know so fast, Mark.

  11. MicheleS - Nov 12, 2011 at 3:15 AM

    Thank God. I was fearing the worst. Get our boy and his family out of there now!

  12. Canada's #1 Nats Fan - Nov 12, 2011 at 3:17 AM

    Thank goodness. Fantastic News. I hope is OK after what must have been a harrowing ordeal.

  13. SilverSpring8 - Nov 12, 2011 at 3:20 AM

    That's wonderful!

  14. TimDz - Nov 12, 2011 at 3:23 AM

    HELL YA….Best news all weekend….We can now get back to frivolous stuff like baseball and the hot stove…Perspective people…

  15. SBrent - Nov 12, 2011 at 3:24 AM

    Thank God! So good to hear.

  16. Dawn - Nov 12, 2011 at 3:24 AM

    Wonderful news, hopefully they are able to stop this particular group from future abductions. The power of prayer had to have helped. Welcome home Wilson!

  17. SonnyG10 - Nov 12, 2011 at 3:24 AM

    Thank you dear Lord, thank you!!!! And thank you, Mark, for keeping us informed.

  18. Natslifer - Nov 12, 2011 at 3:32 AM

    Welcome back Wilson. So happy you're safe and sound.

  19. natsfan1a - Nov 12, 2011 at 3:34 AM

    Was dozing off in front of the tv and work to an alert with the wonderful news! Thank G*d.

  20. JaneB - Nov 12, 2011 at 3:34 AM

    If I'm crying from happiness, imagine his family. I'd hug him to death, so it's good he isn't mine.

  21. natsfan1a - Nov 12, 2011 at 3:35 AM

    You called it, Whatsa. Can't wait until your scene unfolds at ballparks next spring. :-) (Yeah, I'm breaking out the emoticons.)

  22. RickH - Nov 12, 2011 at 3:35 AM

    Excellent!!!

  23. natsfan1a - Nov 12, 2011 at 3:36 AM

    I about hugged my husband to death just now, JaneB.

  24. whatsanattau - Nov 12, 2011 at 3:40 AM

    Bartender, another round for my friends ….

  25. sjm308 - Nov 12, 2011 at 3:43 AM

    Great to have some good news after what was honestly a pretty crappy week in sports. Realize we are just getting basic information but I am hopeful there is no physical injury and also want to hear more about the rescue.Just happy he is safe for now.

  26. Matt - Nov 12, 2011 at 3:48 AM

    Thanks, Jesus (Jesus Christ, not Jesus Flores). I know that all abduction cases don't always have happy endings, but I'm thrilled that Wilson was rescued and will return to his family and eventually the Nats. God bless him and everyone who helped find him.

  27. NaterialGuy - Nov 12, 2011 at 3:49 AM

    This is goodYay

  28. natsfan1a - Nov 12, 2011 at 3:57 AM

    Just lit up my celebratory candle.

  29. Drew8 - Nov 12, 2011 at 3:57 AM

    Hooray!!

  30. Smatt1001 - Nov 12, 2011 at 3:58 AM

    Wonderful news!

  31. Anonymous - Nov 12, 2011 at 4:04 AM

    Wonderful news! Now I can sleep well tonight.

  32. NG - Nov 12, 2011 at 4:08 AM

    Wow, this is fantastic news. Let's stick to winter ball in the D.R. and Puerto Rico from here on out…

  33. natsfan1a - Nov 12, 2011 at 4:12 AM

    Thanks to Mark for keeping us updated throughout the ordeal. I suspect I'll sleep well tonight, too!

  34. natsfan1a - Nov 12, 2011 at 4:28 AM

    Snippet below is from a story on the team site. I'll bet that's a first as far as baseball scorekeeping notations. Delay of game for celebration of catcher being released from captivity. Atta way, fans."Drucker also tweeted that the crowd at the club's Winter League game began to cheer non-stop upon hearing the news, pausing the play on the field as the fans stood and applauded."

  35. MurrayTheRed - Nov 12, 2011 at 4:28 AM

    Thank Goodness, I will sleep much better tonight. I look forward to reading the story of the rescue and how many bad guys were caught. Although I couldn't make the 6pm candlelight vigil, I can only believe that all those good vibes had some effect on this outcome.Welcome back Wilson! Fyi Mark any word on how he got the name Wilson?

  36. Anonymous - Nov 12, 2011 at 4:55 AM

    (((((Wilson)))))Welcome home, Wilson!

  37. Suicide Squeeze - Nov 12, 2011 at 4:55 AM

    Better than an unassisted triple play, perfect game, and extra-inning walk off grand slam all rolled into one!Lesson: Never kidnap a catcher with a high caught stealing percentage.

  38. Grandstander - Nov 12, 2011 at 5:27 AM

    Personally, I'd like to give my thanks to the rescue team. They put their lives on the line to bring Wilson to safety and I commend their bravery and professionalism.Very happy for Wilson, his family, the players down there, and our Nationals community. This made my night a lot more enjoyable.

  39. FOTB - Nov 12, 2011 at 5:40 AM

    Russell Crowe and David Caruso come through again!

  40. Scooter - Nov 12, 2011 at 6:29 AM

    Seeing the picture of Ramos at the top of the page almost made me lose it. I feel for that young boy, and for his mama. Like the rest of y'all, I am very relieved.And in other, lighter news, I'm pretty sure Suicide Squeeze wins the thread.Lesson: Never kidnap a catcher with a high caught stealing percentage.

  41. Nattydread - Nov 12, 2011 at 9:56 AM

    Give thanks and praises!

  42. D'Gourds - Nov 12, 2011 at 10:29 AM

    You know, I think this is going to become a galvanizing moment for the Nationals family. We all felt like our own brother was idnapped. Our Nats have become more than baseball team to us. The elation we feel is so deep. A real visceral connection is forming between us fans and the team. Look at how many more posts there on this site. Feel the love Nats Nation! Great things are coming for this franchise and city. Wilson–we love you and can't wait to see you again. Thank God you are safe.

  43. Unkyd - Nov 12, 2011 at 10:42 AM

    Fell asleep early, last night… WHAT WONDERFUL NEWS! Thank You God…Great lIne, Squeeze ;)100 days, Peeps!!!!

  44. Unkyd - Nov 12, 2011 at 10:44 AM

    Captcha: gratext…. Yep, extra grateful, this morning!!

  45. NatsLady - Nov 12, 2011 at 11:36 AM

    Was so tired after the vigil, fell asleep, woke up– prayers answered! Welcome back, Wilson!!!!!!!

  46. JaneB - Nov 12, 2011 at 11:45 AM

    Squeeze, great line. And thanks for the news of the game delay.Sooooo grateful this morning. Wondering how they will keep him safe down there now…whether he goes to the compound with the other players or stays with his family. And how his family stays protected. And other families. But the abiding sense is gratitude.

  47. Constant Reader - Nov 12, 2011 at 12:11 PM

    Just awoke to this. So very relieved. He seems to be physically find. Here's hoping Wilson seeks out the appropriate psychological supports as he tries to find his new normal.

  48. natsfan1a - Nov 12, 2011 at 12:18 PM

    That photo *did* make me lose it. That, and reading accounts of his words to his mother when they first spoke by phone after he was freed (see below, taken from accounts from Kilgore and Comak).Big time gratitude here, along with hopes for healing and peace for Wilson and his family as they process this. (And, on a lighter note, well done to Squeeze.)Roughly an hour after the news of his rescue broke, Ramos spoke on the phone with his mother, Maria Campos, according to Marfa Mata, a close family friend of the Ramos family.“Calm down,” Ramos said. “I’m going home.”After she learned Ramos had been found, Campos spoke to her son over the phone. “Mama, I love you,” she said he told her. “Mama – I’m good. They freed me. They rescued me.”

  49. FS - Nov 12, 2011 at 12:18 PM

    Best news to start your day with.

  50. LoveDaNats - Nov 12, 2011 at 12:46 PM

    Much thanks to the Lord. Slept in, but what a huge sigh of relief upon reading Mark's story. Naturally, the first place I turn for baseball news of any kind. God is good…….

  51. Joe Seamhead - Nov 12, 2011 at 12:46 PM

    So thankful for the happy ending! There is a side of me that would like to hear all of the gory details as to how the rescue actually went down. When the ship is sinking, pray to God, but swim for shore! So happy for, him, his family, and our Nationals Fans family!I'm also looking forward to the appropriate time to getting back to talking baseball, particularly as to how everybody feels about the Phillies developments regarding their closer.

  52. JeanneB - Nov 12, 2011 at 12:52 PM

    Ditto all of the above! And maybe D'gourds is right about an effect that this will have on Nats fans. It is interesting to me how little time and attention this got from the 4 letter network, and relatively much more from hard news outlets.100 days!

  53. MicheleS - Nov 12, 2011 at 1:07 PM

    I read in one of the reports that he and his family were moving to a new house in December and it's supposed to be in a better area.If I find it again, I will post the link

  54. Janner33 - Nov 12, 2011 at 1:12 PM

    Shedding tears first thing in the morning is usually not a good sign, except when it's news that our boy has been returned to us safe and sound!The quotes by Ramos and his family in Kilgore's report, as well as the comments by my fellow Nats Insiders have warmed my heart considerably! What a fantastic start to the day!

  55. UNTERP - Nov 12, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    It's like my son has come home from a long lost and dark journey. Today, Wilson is my son…

  56. Anonymous - Nov 12, 2011 at 1:35 PM

    Now I know how Tom Hanks felt when he lost Wilson out at sea.

  57. rmoore446 - Nov 12, 2011 at 1:47 PM

    Fantastic news!

  58. Dawn - Nov 12, 2011 at 1:48 PM

    Was fine until reading about Wilson's words to his mother. Being a parent (welcome again to the club Mr. Z) the minute your child is born it is a life full of joy and worry. Glad to know one of these worries is over for the Ramos family. God Bless them all. Now, I hope baseball news from now on will be confined to Hot Stove reports and countdowns to opening day. Did anyone hear that the Phillies have a new Closer? :-)

  59. gleeful - Nov 12, 2011 at 2:04 PM

    Phillies spend $50M / 4 years PLUS give up their first round pick to get Papelbon. Not as good as Wilson coming home, but good news nontheless.

  60. Anonymous - Nov 12, 2011 at 2:07 PM

    Is it possible for Ramos to win come back player of the year? :P)

  61. Anonymous - Nov 12, 2011 at 2:10 PM

    not to nitpick but i don't like the bullet-proof vest picture that much. i'd never use it in my main story. i've seen couple other better ones. but i guess in the blog-sphere everyone makes their own editorial choices.

  62. natsfan1a - Nov 12, 2011 at 2:20 PM

    Anon, I believe that the photo appeared first on Twitter last night (I think it was sent by a VL team employee). It was likely the only post-rescue pic available at that point. (Not that it matters particularly but I was relieved and moved to see it then.) A picture is worth a thousand words and all that.

  63. m20832 - Nov 12, 2011 at 2:23 PM

    What AWESOME news!! Thank you Lord for the safe return of Wilson!

  64. natsfan1a - Nov 12, 2011 at 2:25 PM

    UNTERP, I don't have kids but thought a lot about my nieces and nephew, all of whom are close to Wilson in age.Not that this matters either, but I'd been wearing my navy Nats away gear since Thursday morning. Today I've switched to my red Nats home gear. Welcome home, Wilson. We love you lots.

  65. Suicide Squeeze - Nov 12, 2011 at 2:25 PM

    Inspiration comes from elation, but thank you all for the kind words.I was dozing on the couch half-watching TV when the breaking news report came on. All kidding aside, I was so ecstatically happy that I couldn't sleep for hours. Best. Insomnia. Reason. Ever.GYFNG!

  66. natsfan1a - Nov 12, 2011 at 2:30 PM

    It took time for me to wind down enough to sleep as well. Can't imagine how it must be for Wilson and his family.

  67. Section 109 - Nov 12, 2011 at 2:33 PM

    Great line, Squeeze. One thing this reminds me is how transformative it is to be able to hear the latest from Mark and other reporters and to be in touch with others on blogs and so on at a time like this. And w/o blogs and Twitter, it wd have been a lot harder to get out the word about the vigil. Thank you Mark, Alicia Durfee, and everyone who commented on Nats Insider.

  68. natsfan1a - Nov 12, 2011 at 2:40 PM

    True, sec109. I've still not set up an account but I will 'fess up to frequently checking the Twitter accounts of Nats beat writers over the past couple of days. And, of course, this was my first blog stop for updates.

  69. Mick - Nov 12, 2011 at 2:44 PM

    God Bless, finally some good news!BTW, Mark your colleague Sally Jenkins, SUCKS and should resign as a columnist for the Post. She is now a cold hearted hosebag in my book and I like her to go to every single young man who was violated by Sandusky and tell them that "Paterno is not to blame"

  70. Andrew - Nov 12, 2011 at 3:13 PM

    Wilson is home and safe. The support for Wilson and his family has been tremendous.These situations are so difficult to navigate. Some times no news is the best news. Wilson's agents, MLB and the Nationals all were prudent in not saying too much.The news coverage couldn't get any "insiders" on-air comments so they had to go to the street to get comments form passers-by http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMLc_wPQGHUIts frustrating to not have any news but in the end, Wilson Ramos is safe in part to the lack of sensationalizing this ordeal that could have jeopardized rescue efforts. There will always be those who quickly jumped in to criticize the Lerner's and Nationals for not saying anything quickly or player's for not expressing more and then you have those with wild imaginations that speculated on an "inside job". I can't even repeat some of the stories.Again, glad to have Wilson back home safe.

  71. Sec 3, My Sofa - Nov 12, 2011 at 3:14 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  72. Sec 3, My Sofa - Nov 12, 2011 at 3:42 PM

    So, Mark — were you, like, checking Twitter every ten minutes for the last two days?

  73. sunderland - Nov 12, 2011 at 4:07 PM

    When people remove and the re-post, I always wonder what was wrong with the first one.I'm pretty sure Sec3's first post read "…twecking chitter…"I want to be able to remove posts too, just so the interweb refers to me as "author". I'd update my LinkedIn profile in a heartbeat.

  74. natsfan1a - Nov 12, 2011 at 4:20 PM

    Eh, maybe correcting typos in some cases, maybe having second thoughts about a comment in others. I don't know how to remove posts, either. Maybe one needs to have an account? Me, I just hit "post," then cry "nooooo," maybe print a retraction. All in a day's work for an Interwebz commenter.

  75. Scooter - Nov 12, 2011 at 4:21 PM

    I'd love to remove posts, too.Oh — you meant remove your own posts?

  76. NatsLady - Nov 12, 2011 at 4:32 PM

    1A, yes, you have to have a google account, and then you can put in your picture, sooooooo, we know what you look like.There were some posts that could REALLY stand removing, Scooter, no doubt about that.On Twitter there was one person, usually ok, who whined constantly about the Nats not issuing a statement. When they finally did, it said exactly what you expected. Why are people SO worried about their own feelings???

  77. natsfan1a - Nov 12, 2011 at 4:39 PM

    Thanks for the info, NatsLady. Not big on posting my pic on the interwebz, so my physical appearance will have to remain a mystery except for those who meet me face-to-face at get-togethers. (Yes, I am drop-dead gorgeous, now that y'all asked. As if. :-))Scooter, thanks for the LOL. I haven't done that in days. Quite enjoy it, actually.

  78. Sunderland - Nov 12, 2011 at 6:03 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  79. Sunderland - Nov 12, 2011 at 6:04 PM

    Holy Moly – I did it. Now if I can only html and make my posts fancy lookin'.

  80. Sec 3, My Sofa - Nov 12, 2011 at 6:10 PM

    For the record, I do not look like that picture. It's really old. I shave twice a day now–all the best people do.And 1a, as always, brings the insight. I did indeed retract (but not recant, renounce, or abjure) my statement on … oh, wait, I guess I shouldn't say it here, either, huh?

  81. natsfan1a - Nov 12, 2011 at 6:43 PM

    Sunderland, this humble Luddite is in awe of your mad internwebz skillz.sec3, you no longer use a manual typewriter either, right? :-)

  82. Sec 3, My Sofa - Nov 12, 2011 at 7:06 PM

    I'm using it now, 1a. I have mad kludge skillz.captcha: "punmob"If we get a band together, that has to be the name.

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