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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Las Vegas Teen Melissa Duran Abducted, Held for Ransom

On August 31st, 17-year-old Melissa Duran was attacked and kidnapped from her home in Henderson, NV, a suburb just outside of Las Vegas, by two men who claimed they were armed with concealed weapons.

The abductors hit and attempted to drag Melissa through her front door and into their car after throwing sand in her face. Melissa's 11-year-old brother Kevin ran out and tried to hit the attackers with a baseball bat before the men motioned that they had guns and demanded Kevin keep his distance. Nonetheless, there was a struggle before reaching the car because Melissa was putting up quite a fight, but sadly she had no self-defense training to successfully untangle from the kidnappers' grips.

The abductors then locked and tied her up in an apartment, demanded ransom money from her parents, and threatened to do obscene things to Melissa and kill her family. Melissa was their captive for 21 hours until the next morning when a SWAT team raided the apartment and returned her to her family.

Upon arresting the kidnappers on several charges, it was learned that the two men were recently fired from Melissa's dad's company and they also had ties to human trafficking. Melissa's kidnappers were people she knew and without the SWAT team's rescue, it's uncertain what she would/could have done to get safely. Recently two more men were arrested in connection with the kidnapping.

Thankfully, Melissa is physically unharmed. We hope she uses this opportunity to advocate for basic self-defense instruction in schools nationwide.