Pittsburgh Pirates catcher's kidnapped mother rescued

Soto rescued after 'intense security operation'

By JILL MARTIN, ANA MELGAR, JENNIFER HAUSER, AND HANDE ATAY ALAM, CNN
Brian Blanco/Getty Images

Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Elias Diaz

(CNN) - Venezuelan officials said the mother of Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Elias Díaz was rescued three days after being kidnapped, according to state-run news agency AVN.

Ana Isabel Soto, 72, was rescued after an "intense security operation," said Omar Prieto, the governor of the state of Zulia. Five police officers have been detained and are under investigation.

The Pirates confirmed Soto's kidnapping Thursday near Maracaibo and indicated the organization and Major League Baseball were "using all the resources available" to help secure her release.

The team did not put out another statement until Monday.

"The Pittsburgh Pirates are relieved and overjoyed to learn that Elias Diaz' mother, Ana Soto, has been rescued and safely reunited with her family," the statement by Pirates President Frank Coonelly said. "We are incredibly grateful for the swift and effective work of the local law enforcement officials in Venezuela who brought this terrifying act to the safe conclusion for which we had all prayed. As an organization, we will continue to support Elias and his family as they move forward together."

Prieto tweeted Sunday that he ordered the state police to investigate whether its own anti-drug unit was involved, according to CNN Pittsburgh affiliate WTAE, which quoted The Associated Press.

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