Bill Collector Ends 3-Day Hostage Situation

Investigators said a battered woman held hostage three days by her ex-boyfriend in her Victorville home was saved by a chance visit from a bill collector seeking a car payment.

San Bernardino County sheriff's Deputy Mark James said the debt collector knocked on the door Wednesday and the 30-year-old woman answered. The victim scribbled the word "help" and her ex's name, Miguel Rios.

When the debt collector asked if she was OK, the woman whispered Rios had a gun and was holding her hostage.

The collector was sent to the home after a car dealer noticed the woman had missed a car payment.

Deputies were called and the 28-year-old Rios was arrested and booked for investigation of false imprisonment and making terrorist threats, among other allegations.

The woman, held since Sunday, had bite marks and bruises, including marks where Rios allegedly tried to strangle her.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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