Boston woman who vanished after leaving bar is found, suspect charged with kidnapping

She was found outside the apartment of the suspect, who could be seen on surveillance video from the night the woman disappeared leading her along the street.

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By Elisha Fieldstadt and Phil Helsel

A Boston woman who vanished after leaving a bar Saturday night was found Tuesday, and a man was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping her, police said.

Olivia Ambrose, 23, was located inside the apartment of the suspect, Victor Peña, 38, said Boston Police Commissioner William G. Gross at a news conference. She was taken to a local hospital for "evaluation purposes," police said.

The suspect was seen on surveillance video leading Ambrose after she left the bar, Gross said. "It's obvious from the video surveillance that she did not go along willingly."

The last time Ambrose had been seen in person was while leaving Hennessy's, a Boston bar. Her twin, Francesca, told NBC Boston that she saw her sister leave the bar with a man she had met there.

That man had "been determined to not be involved in her disappearance," Boston Police said Tuesday, releasing a photo of a man they considered to be a "person of interest" in Ambrose's disappearance.

A suspect is seen on surveillance footage released by the Boston Police Department in connection with the disappearance of Olivia Ambrose.Boston Police Department

Police had said that 40 minutes after Ambrose left the bar, two men invited her to walk with them, surveillance footage taken blocks away from the bar shows.

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One walked ahead while the other put his arm around Ambrose, and led her to a subway station, the footage showed. Ambrose and the man who had his arm around her emerged 20 minutes later from a subway station about a mile and a half away, according to police. The other man was not captured on surveillance at the second station, police said.

Additional surveillance footage showed Ambrose and the man who had his arm around her walking together about 10 minutes later five blocks from the subway station. Phone records also indicated she was at a housing development in that area, police said.

The second man has not been identified and is probably a witness, Gross said.

The suspect "was twice seen engaging Ms. Ambrose and guiding her, actually clutching her, guiding her along," until eventually they went into public transportation, he said. It was Peña only who had his arm around the victim, he said.

"Let's just say she wasn't in a state, a physical state, to possibly acknowledge going along with Mr. Peña," Gross said.

He said the investigation is ongoing, and more charges could be filed.

"Today is a good day. Ms. Ambrose was found alive," the commissioner said, expressing thanks to the public for their tips. He also thanked Ambrose's family. "You never gave up on your sister, your daughter, your loved one,” Gross said.

Olivia Ambrose was last seen in Boston on Jan. 19, 2019.Courtesy of the Ambrose Family

Ambrose's family said they became concerned Sunday when no one could get in touch with her.

"She was supposed to meet with her workmates on Sunday — they had a tentative arrangement — and then she had a doctor's appointment this morning," Ambrose's mother, Heather, told NBC Boston on Sunday. Ambrose didn't show up for either.

A spokesperson for Ambrose’s family said in a statement to NBC Boston that "the family is overjoyed" that she was found.

"The Ambrose family is so grateful for the monumental efforts" of police, said the statement attributed to family spokesperson Gina Addis and which was tweeted by NBC Boston.

The family also thanked "all of the staff at Hennessy's Bar who have been so helpful since Olivia went missing" and friends, family and others who had helped.

Ezra Kaplan contributed.