A Costa Mesa woman who was abducted in Uganda along with a driver on Tuesday has been freed, authorities said Sunday.
The Uganda Wildlife Authority, which manages 10 national parks, 12 wildlife reserves and 14 wildlife sanctuaries in the African nation, tweeted the news shortly before 10 a.m.
“The rescue of kidnapped tourist Kimberly Sue and driver guide Jean Paul is complete. Both captives back in safe hands. We thank our security agencies who led the mission. This was a one off and isolated incident. Our national parks have been and remain safe to visit,” the UWA tweet said.
The pair “were on an evening game drive” in Queen Elizabeth National Park, according to a statement by police in Uganda. They were abducted between 6 and 7 p.m. Tuesday at gunpoint, police reported.
Ugandan police identified the woman as Kimberly Sue Endecott, 35, although her Facebook page is under the name Endicott. The driver was identified as “senior guide” Jean Paul.
Two other tourists who were on the drive but were not abducted contacted a camp manager, “who rescued them and they are very safe,” police said.
Using the victim’s phone, the kidnappers demanded a $500,000 ransom, police said.
Details about the release were not immediately clear. ABC News reported that a ransom was paid, though the amount was not specified.
“Pleased to report that the American tourist and tour guide that were abducted in Uganda have been released. God bless them and their families!” President Donald Trump tweeted at 12:50 p.m.