A 22-year-old illegal immigrant from Mexico has been arrested in connection with last month's bus stop abduction of a Florida boy who later staged his own dramatic escape.
Vicente Beltran-Moreno turned himself in at the Mexican border Wednesday after being tracked down by the FBI and Florida law enforcement.
"We pretty much told him that we're not going to give up. This isn't something that you can run away from," said Maj. Connie Shingledecker of the Manatee Sheriff's Department.
Authorities said the kidnapping victim, 13-year-old Clay Moore, was alive today because of quick thinking and a safety pin. Moore was abducted two weeks ago while waiting for the school bus.
"Some guy just pulls up in a red truck and tells the kid to get in the truck or he's going to shoot, pulls out a gun and the kid gets in the truck and they take off," said an eyewitness.
Moore said he was dragged deep into the woods, where a sock was put in his mouth, his hands and feet were bound with duct tape, and his abductor tied him to a tree. Remarkably, Moore managed to escape by using a safety pin that he'd hidden in his mouth.
"He had ripped a hole in his jacket, and instead of buying him a new one we told him basically, 'Pin it up,' because it's kind of his fault," said Steve Kelle, Moore's stepfather.
Moore used the pin to cut through the tape, freeing himself. He then ran to a farm where he called his parents.
"I am so proud of him. He was very smart, kept his head on him. He's a good kid," said his mother, Traci Kelle.
Police say that Beltran planned to hold Moore for ransom and that he surrendered because he didn't want to be housed in a Mexican jail. He will be charged with kidnapping.