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Posted at 08:01 AM ET, 11/11/2011

Wilson Ramos abduction in Venezuela: Police gathering evidence, still no contact from kidnappers, 36 hours in


(Christian Petersen - Getty Images)

UPDATE, 2:10 p.m. Venezuelan police put out a press release denying the rumor that Wilson had been found dead following the abduction that occurred Wednesday evening.

“The Body of Scientific, Penal and Criminal Investigations (CICPC), denied the occurrence of the alleged corpse of Wilson Ramos in the vicinity of the Plaza de Toro de Valencia,” the press release read.

In the statement, the CICPC added officials believe it possible that more people are involved in Ramos’s abduction than the gunmen who took him front in front of his home in Valencia. They remain convinced Ramos was a specific target.

UPDATE, 1:25 p.m. The Ramos family still has yet to hear from the men who abducted Wilson Ramos, spokeswoman Katherine Vilera said. She also reiterated a plea for people not to spread false rumors and that the Ramos family remains united in prayer at there home in Santa Ines, where Ramos was taken Wednesday evening.

In regard to the case, Venezuelan news outlet Ultimas Noticias reported there are 300 law enforcement officials on the search, and a second vehicle used in the abduction has been found.

For clarification on the candlelight vigil planned for 6 p.m. outside Nationals Park: The event has been planned solely by fans and has not been endorsed by the Nationals. The team has made no public comment on the vigil, either to promote it or to dissuade fans from coming. Nationals employees are welcome to attend on a personal basis, but it is not a team-sanctioned event.

UPDATE, 10:25: Venezuelan authorites have turned to “advanced” investigation tactics, including aerial operations, the Associated Press reports from Venezuela. Authorities, it seems, are placing their full might behind the search for Ramos and have given the impression they are making progress..

Interior Policy Deputy Minister Edwin Rojas told reporters in Venezuelan that police have made sketches of two suspects in the kidnapping of Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos, TV station Globovision reported. Rojas added the police have gathered several pieces of evidence, but neither them nor the sketches will be made public so as to not hinder the investigation.

“We have faith in the swift clarification in this case,” Rojas said, per the Associated Press.

Rojas also said the family has still not been contacted by the abductors.

FIRST POST, 8:00 a.m. More than 36 hours after gunmen abducted Wilson Ramos, the kidnappers have still made no contact with the Ramos family, which remains grasping for any information and for any hope it can muster.

“Another long night waiting,” family friend and spokeswoman Marfa Mata wrote this morning on Twitter. “Not a message or call about Wilson. Keep praying.”

The story has gripped Venezuela, with people having gathered to pray outside Ramos’s modest home in the Santa Ines region of Valencia. On the cover of the newspaper Diario, there is an enormous photograph of Ramos in his catching gear and Nationals uniform under the headline, “Venezuela requests the freedom of major leaguer Wilson Ramos.”

Supporters in Washington have organized a candlelight vigil outside Nationals Park tonight at 6 p.m. One fan created a Web site, FreeWilsonRamos.com.

By  |  08:01 AM ET, 11/11/2011

 
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