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20111111_KidnappingMISSION — Two individuals were charged with aggravated kidnapping of a Mission businessman this week.

Armando Hernandez and Edgar Daniel Saavedra were both charged with aggravated kidnapping, a first-degree felony that carries a potential life sentence in prison.

Mission Municipal Judge Horacio Peña originally set a bond for $100,000 for Saavedra and $350,000 for Hernandez. An attorney for the suspects asked for leniency in the bonds. Peña posted the bonds at $75,000 for Saavedra and $200,000 for Hernandez. The higher bond for Hernandez was due to a possible flight risk since he is not a citizen.

Assistant Police Chief Martin Garza said this was not cartel related. The kidnapping was due to a relationship dispute between the individuals.

According to court documents, the victim, Santa Fe Steakhouse owner Fredrick Harms, was meeting Armando Hernandez to discuss a relationship they had with the same woman. Meeting in Mission at Denny’s on Shary Rd. at around 1 a.m., Hernandez asked Harms to get inside a maroon Ford Explorer where he was met with several men with handguns. Harms was bound and taken to a ranch on North Brushline Road.

There, Harms was taken into a residence and beaten. The victim was also asked for $100,00 and was threatened with death, police said. The victim was then taken to a horse trailer outside where he was placed face down and heavy items were then placed on top of him, said the report.

After several hours, Harms was able to loosen bindings on his ankles and get out of the trailer. Still handcuffed, the victim ran through orchards until he came to an elementary school about three miles away at around 6 a.m. Monday. Employees at the elementary called police, said authorities.

A friend who had reported Harms missing knew who Hernandez was and provided an address to police, according to court documents. Officers went to Hernandez’s residence in Hidalgo and arrested Hernandez and Saavedra whom Harms identified as the translator for Hernandez and a kidnapping participant.

Police said they are still looking for the victim’s vehicle, a white Ford F-150 truck, and the maroon Ford Explorer the suspects used. Other arrests are also possible, said Garza.

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