Four arrested in weekend kidnapping scheme that closed Causeway Bridge identified by JPSO

Published: Jul. 4, 2022 at 7:31 AM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Four suspects arrested as part of a kidnapping scheme that temporarily closed the Causeway Bridge on Saturday (July 2) have been identified, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office said.

Each of the suspects has been booked into the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center on allegations of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated burglary and aggravated flight, JPSO spokesman Capt. Jason Rivarde said. The arrestees are:

  • Michelle Mayorga, 18, of Kenner
  • Eduardo Jose Ponce-Nunez, 21, hometown unknown
  • Nelson Ruiz-Fredrick, 18, of New Orleans
  • Unnamed male juvenile, 17, of Chalmette

The four are accused of forcing their way into an apartment Saturday around 7 a.m. in the 4100 block of Hessmer Avenue in Metairie, where they demanded money. A 40-year-old man and 17-year-old boy were the victims inside, the JPSO said.

A 17-year-old boy was abducted from the apartment, the JPSO said, prompting a daylong manhunt involving JPSO deputies, US Marshals, the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office and Louisiana State Police. The suspects were eventually located in New Orleans East but fled, leading officers on a pursuit through multiple jurisdictions before going onto the Causeway Bridge.

The suspects’ vehicle was disabled on the bridge and the four suspects were apprehended, forcing a temporary closure of the span late Saturday afternoon.

The abducted 17-year-old also was found in the vehicle, having suffered minor injuries. The JPSO said he is expected to make a full recovery.

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