TUCSON - Authorities investigated a possible kidnapping Thursday at a far South Side residence and came across 45 to 50 illegal immigrants on the same property.
Pima County Sheriff's spokeswoman Dawn Barkman said deputies received a call shortly after 7 a.m. from a woman reporting that she heard several shots near her home and saw her husband forced into a black sport utility vehicle.
The man was identified as Rito Najera, 43.
The woman, whose name was not released, followed the black vehicle but lost sight of it as it continued west of Tucson International Airport, Barkman said.
Deputies who went to the couple's home found the woman and a blood trail from the back yard to the front yard; they also saw signs of a struggle and an apparent injury and conducted a security sweep of the property, which covers several acres, she said.
Several mobile homes are situated behind the woman's home, and deputies found between 45 and 50 illegal immigrants in and around the trailers, Barkman said.
"They indicated that they had not had water or food in a couple of days," she said.
Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents were called in to assist, Barkman added.
Apparently a couple of immigrants saw a struggle and saw the man forced into the SUV, she said.
Electronic surveillance equipment was found outside the home, Barkman said.
She said it was not known whether the couple owned or rented the home nor whether they had any connection to the mobile homes or the immigrants.
The woman has not been charged, Barkman said.