DEVINE, Texas – UPDATE: Medina County Crime Stoppers is now offering a $1,000 reward in this case. Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-367-2833.
The family of a woman who police say was kidnapped by her ex-boyfriend in front of her daughters is holding a prayer vigil for her safe return.
Devine police said Jorge Jaramillo, 48, took Jessica Sanchez, 37, from her home Sunday morning at gunpoint after coming through the window. Police found her car about 12 miles away, but they don't know where she or Jaramillo are now.
Sanchez's sister, Blasa Carrillo, said the family is holding onto hope that Jaramillo might still let Sanchez go home safely to her three daughters, ages 9 and 15. So they're holding a prayer vigil Tuesday night at her Devine home, from which she was taken, in the hopes of tugging at the conscience of Jaramillo or anyone helping him.
"Her girls need her," Carrillo said. "Her girls miss her. They want to see her. They want to hug her, you know, and tell her how much, you know, they love her and, you know, want to hear her say how much she loves them."
Carrillo said her sister had been with Jaramillo for several years until, on Memorial Day, he allegedly held a knife to Sanchez's throat. Police said Jaramillo was arrested for aggravated assault and they acquired a magistrate's emergency order of protection
"We thought she cut him out," Carrillo said. "That was it. I mean he was arrested and that was it. That's all we knew."
But police said Jaramillo broke into Sanchez's home Sunday morning.
Carrillo, who got the details from her oldest niece, said Jaramillo came through a bedroom window where two of the girls were sleeping. Then he had the third girl wake Sanchez.
Jaramillo put the girls into the laundry room since it could be locked, Carrillo said.
"My older niece said that she heard the arguing back and forth, silence, arguing back and forth," Carrillo said. "And then finally she said that Mom had gone into, basically, almost saying goodbye."
"Then he said, 'Do not call the police or I will, you know, kill your mom,'" Carillo said, adding that Jaramillo shot the gun inside the house.
Police said they were tipped off about 8:48 a.m., when Jaramillo's ex-wife contacted them and said she had dropped Jaramillo off at a park earlier that morning and that a family member's gun was missing. An officer who knew about the protective order against Jaramillo went to check on Sanchez's house, which was nearby, and found the girls.
Devine police later found Sanchez's vehicle in the 6000 block of County Road 4514 near Pearson.
Several agencies, including the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Texas Department of Corrections and Medina County deputies assisted in a search for Jaramillo and the victim by helicopter, on foot and with the use of tracking dogs. The search was unsuccessful.
Anyone with information about Jaramillo's whereabouts is asked to call the Devine Police Department at 830-663-4403 or 911. Police said civilians should not attempt to approach Jaramillo.
The prayer vigil will be held at 7:30 p.m. at 322 Fox Run Drive in Devine.