PORLAMAR, Venezuela - More than 48 hours since his abduction, Wilson Ramos of the Washington Nationals is going home.
The player's agent, Gustavo Marcano, said, "Wilson spoke with his mother and told her, 'Calm down, I'm coming home.' His voice was strong and clear. "
Three people were arrested in Ramos' rescue, Minister Tarek El Aissami wrote on his official Twitter account.
Earlier, Venezuelan information minister Andres Izarra confirmed that Ramos was found safe in a mountainous area of central Carabobo state.
"Thank God my brother has appeared," said Milangela Ramos. "I received a call from Miguel Cabrera (the Detroit Tigers slugger), and he said they had found him. I did not believe him, but then he told me that my brother had been found and that the minister would contact me. He said he had good news for me. Your brother has been found alive. I have not seen him, but the police have him."
So ends the suspense that has kept an entire nation on edge, awaiting news since 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.
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.
The team issued a press release when Ramos was found, saying, "The news from Venezuela tonight is reassuring. Though details are limited and we have not yet talked directly with Wilson, we are thrilled with reports that he has been rescued and is being safely returned to his family. We greatly appreciate all the prayers and thoughts of all who have joined us in wishing for this conclusion to what has been a nightmarish 48 hours. We are eager to see Wilson and let him know just how many all over the world have been waiting for this news.
Photos: Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos kidnapped
Venezuela's baseball players are the pride of the nation, but their families have become kidnapping targets because of their notoriety and their high salaries in a country where that practice is rampant.
Ramos is the first active Major League player to be abducted.
Reactions in Venezuela, where Ramos 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.