PORLAMAR, Venezuela -- Forty eight hours following his kidnapping, Wilson Ramos of the Washington Nationals has been released, Venezuelan authorities have informed the player's family.
Venezuelan information minister Andres Izarra confirmed that Ramos was found safe in a mountainous area of central Carabobo state.
Ramos was kidnapped on Wednesday from his family home in the Barrio Santa Ines in the city of Valencia, located 98 miles west of the capital Caracas.
So ends the suspense that has kept an entire nation on edge, awaiting news.
Investigations have been ongoing since Ramos' disappearance. The following day, Venezuelan authorities found a vehicle that allegedly served to transport Ramos. Yesterday, another truck allegedly linked to the case was found by police.
Officers have been assuring the public via the media throughout the ordeal that Ramos was alive.
The 24-year-old has been part of the Washington Nationals since 2010, when he was traded from the Minnesota Twins. In his first full year he batted .267, with 104 hits in 389 at-bats, including 15 homers and 52 RBI. He is expected to be the starting catcher next season.
Venezuela's baseball players are the nation's pride, but their families have become kidnapping targets in a country where that practice is rampant because of their notoriety and their high salaries.
Ramos is the first active Major League player to be abducted.
Reaction in Venezuela, where he had been playing winter ball, has been swift. Several native players, such as the Florida Marlins' Anibal Sanchez and Gerardo Parra of the Arizona Diamondbacks have declined to participate this year, fearing for their safety.