Eugene kidnapping victim found safe in Creswell; suspect in custody

A kidnapping in downtown Eugene has ended with the victim found safe and a suspect in custody.

Posted: Jul 19, 2021 2:51 PM
Updated: Jul 19, 2021 7:21 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- A kidnapping took place in downtown Eugene early Sunday morning, and now police said they are worried there may be other victims.

Jesus Martinez Cruz, 23, made his first court appearance this afternoon. Police said this all started when they were called to West Broadway and Olive Street for a missing persons report.

Police said they searched for the woman starting at about 8:10 a.m. with help from the woman's family, but they couldn't find her.

Later in the morning, the victim reportedly woke up alone in a commercial shop in Creswell. She got out and called her family. She told them the shop was on North Mill Street in Creswell.

Police said while they were searching the area in Creswell, they saw a man in the area acting suspiciously. They followed the man, Martinez Cruz, to his home. After developing probable cause, they arrested him at his home in southeast Eugene later the same day. More evidence was then collected and Martinez Cruz was taken to the Lane County Jail for second-degree kidnapping.

At his arraignment hearing, the judge said Martinez Cruz will appear in court on Aug. 23 at 2:30 p.m.

While most people in the downtown Eugene area told KEZI 9 News they are just now hearing about the kidnapping, one local bar owner talked about safety in the downtown area in general. 

The owner of the First National Taphouse, Thomas Meeken, said he and other bars in the area are a part of a group chat called "The Downtown Bar Security Page."

Meeken said the page works as a network of support between local business owners to keep on eye on a "problem person," and to keep their patrons and their employees safe. 

"It's just a really good tool to have as a bar owner," said Meeken.

He also said he thinks this group chat helps the majority of the time with knowing who to look for. He also said he is confident in his staff when strange things happen in the downtown area.

If anything similar to this kidnapping has happened to you or someone you know, contact police at 541-682-5144.

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