DENVER - Colorado Rockies catcher Yorvit Torrealba felt the fear cut through him. His 11-year-old son was in the hands of kidnappers and he thought the boy was going to die.
Torrealba sat by the phone in Venezuela, listening to his wife negotiate with the kidnappers. It was thought best that Torrealba not do the talking.
"It's something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy," he said. "For 3 days I couldn't sleep, I couldn't drink water. I felt like my hands were tied and I couldn't do anything."
Torrealba spoke of his ordeal yesterday, the first time he has done so since Yorvit Eduardo was released by his abductors. Now, nearly 2 weeks later, his son is fine and with him in Denver.
"Overall, he's happy, he's good," Torrealba said. "When we were in Miami I took him to the park, to the mall, just to have a normal life again. He's doing really good."
His son saw a doctor twice while in Miami.
"The first time he saw the doctor, all he talked about was what happened," Torrealba said. "The second time, he was talking about stuff we were doing. He's doing better. He's making progress."
Torrealba's son will be at Coors Field tomorrow when the Rockies open a three-game series against Tampa Bay. He said he and his wife will stay in the United States.
Torrealba said the kidnapping began June 2 when a car pulled in front of the car taking his son to school. His son was with Daniel Antonio Alvarez Morales, Torrealba's 31-year-old brother-in-law, and Agrey Alexander Marquez, a 27-year-old brother-in-law of the boy's mother.
"Three guys with guns put them in the back seat and just drove away to a big hill," Torrealba said. "They covered their faces and a half-hour later one of the guys called my wife and told his mother they were kidnapping her son," Torrealba said.
"It took about 2 days. They spent the night on the hill, and all day the next day. Then around 8 o'clock they let them go . . . For whatever reason, they let him go before they got the money. They ran to the closest house and asked if they could use the phone. He called my wife and let her know he was fine. This house was a half-hour away from my house, so right away we found someone over there to get him."
The kidnappers demanded $500,000 at first, according to Torrealba, then dropped their demands to $150,000 and then $50,000.
"Those guys wanted to talk to me because they had an idea how much money I was having and the only one who could move it," he said. "That's why the cops believe it's an inside job - family member or a friend." *