The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

D.C. police say woman believed to have been kidnapped is found safe

D.C. police were looking for Selita Tashaun Lee, who they believed to have been a victim of a kidnapping. (D.C. police)

A woman was found safe Wednesday afternoon hours after D.C. police said it appeared she had been kidnapped at gunpoint and forced into a vehicle by her boyfriend in Northwest Washington, according to her family and authorities.

A relative found Selita Tashaun Lee, 30, around 2 p.m., the woman’s great-aunt said. Lee was taken to a police station, a police spokesman said.

Locating Lee ended an expansive search that began about 3:40 a.m. at her apartment in the Van Ness area of the District. A person told police he saw a man force a woman into a vehicle against her will.

Police Cmdr. John Haines of the Criminal Investigations Division said the boyfriend first tried to put the woman into the trunk but then put her in the back seat. He confirmed police were investigating what appeared to be a video of at least part of the encounter that was streamed online.

At a news briefing before Lee was located, Haines said that the vehicle had been found abandoned in Northeast Washington and that detectives had obtained several addresses for the boyfriend in D.C.

At the time, Haines described Lee as in danger and pleaded with the boyfriend to contact authorities to “make sure that this comes to a good resolution.”

After Lee was found, investigators said they were interviewing her, trying to learn more about what happened and where her boyfriend, identified as Marquez Parker, 44, might have gone. D.C. police issued an arrest warrant Wednesday evening for Parker, who is charged with kidnapping while armed. A reward of $10,000 is being offered for information about Parker’s whereabouts.

Lee’s great-aunt, Linda Queen, said Lee works at Walmart, most recently at a location in Maryland, and has a 9-year-old son — not with Parker — who lives with her in Van Ness. The boy was with relatives in South Carolina on Wednesday, the great-aunt said.

Lee’s cousin, Nakeya Queen, 38, had made a plea on Facebook: “Please help me find my cousin.” In an interview, Nakeya Queen said the family had endured a string of recent deaths and couldn’t take another. “I’m still holding on to faith, holding on to hope,” she said.

Minutes later, Linda Queen called The Washington Post and said a relative had found Lee in Northeast Washington.

Keith L. Alexander contributed to this report.

This developing story has been updated.