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Records: kidnapped victim arrested for ransom, suspects tracked through cell phone



HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) –

New information is coming in about the man killed in a failed rescue by the FBI after he was kidnapped from his home in Conroe.

In a twist revealed Thursday night, court documents show that the kidnapping victim of Conroe, who died during an FBI raid, was related to the wife of one of the suspects.

Jimmy Tony Sanchez and Nicholas Chase Cunningham were arrested in the Montgomery County Jail on charges of aggravated kidnapping. The men and a third suspect, Sophia Perez Heath, must appear in court Friday morning.

According to probable cause documents, the victim told one of the suspects during the kidnapping that he knew his parents. It turns out that Nicholas Chase Cunningham is married to the victim's cousin.

According to the criminal complaint, the suspects demanded a $ 20,000 ransom for the victim's arrest at gunpoint in a house northeast of Houston. Initially, they told the victim that their brother owed them $ 8,000. Eyewitness News does not identify the victim because it is not clear if his relative has been notified.

In addition, investigators allege that the suspects threatened other members of the victim's family, whom they could easily identify because the victim is related to Cunningham's marriage. According to reports, Cunningham told investigators that he also had a girlfriend, who was identified as Heath, and that the victim was detained at his home in northeastern Houston. Heath, Cunningham and Sanchez were arrested in the kidnapping plan.

The revelation came hours after the case unraveled at opposite ends of the Houston area.

According to Conroe police, it all started with an invasion on Wednesday morning at the victim's home in Tyler Lane. According to reports, he and his 12-year-old son were tied with tape.

Conroe Police Chief Philip Dupuis said two suspects took the father with him and left the boy. Later, the boy managed to break free and run to a neighbor's house where the police were called.

For the next three hours, the kidnappers called the man's brother and made demands. The Conroe police contacted the FBI to get help in the case.

Authorities tracked two of the three suspects through a cell phone to a hotel in Webster. The suspects were arrested.

Police were able to locate the victim in a home on Elbert Street, northeast of Houston, where the authorities moved and contacted the third remaining suspect. The details of exactly what happened are still unclear, but an FBI agent fired.

The victim of the kidnapping was mortally wounded and was pronounced dead at the LBJ Hospital.

The FBI says that two children were inside the house when the man was killed. The family came and picked up a boy and a girl.

Cunningham, 42; Sánchez, 38; and Heath, 35 were charged with aggravated kidnapping. Cunningham and Sánchez were also charged with aggravated robbery.

Brett Ligon, Montgomery County District Attorney, says his office will investigate the possibility of murder charges in the case since the suspect's alleged actions led to the death of the victim.
Meanwhile, the FBI has remained absorbed in the whole incident.

"I can not tell you specifically why we were here, but I can tell you it was an FBI operation," said Christina Garza with the Houston FBI. , when asked about the role of the agency during the raid.

The FBI says that the officer involved in the shooting will be placed on leave pending the investigation.

Houston police homicide detectives are also investigating since the victim died in their jurisdiction.

COMPLETE VIDEO: Conroe PD and Montgomery County District Attorney Discuss Kidnapping Case and Charges Against 3 Suspects

TIMELINE: Long-range kidnapping ends with victim's murder

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