Updated: 9:53 AM ET, Mon April 8, 2019
Kimberly Sue Endicott’s dream to go on an excursion to visit gorillas in their natural habitat soon took a startling turn when she and her tour guide were kidnapped at gunpoint.
It all started last week when both the California woman and her tour guide got abducted at gunpoint in a Ugandan national park. The armed gang held Endicott and her guide captive, making various demands for a ransom of $500,000 by using their cell phones. After news of their abduction surfaced, police stated that they would not be offering the money for their release.
However, the nightmare came to an end on Sunday when Ugandan security forces rescued Endicott and her guide. An unspecified ransom was paid to free both of the hostages, an insider mentioned to reporters.
The handover was “quiet and peaceful,” the source claimed. They were then released unharmed from the Democratic Republic of Congo, which borders the Queen Elizabeth National Park, the place where both were abducted during a game-watching drive on Tuesday evening.
Four other victims that were taken around the same time were also previously released, officials mentioned.
Wild Frontiers (which is the tour company) mentioned that neither Endicott nor her guide was harmed while being held captive by the gang. A spokesperson on behalf of the company said the identities of the alleged kidnappers had not been revealed.
“Both were rescued from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and are safely back in Kanungu district in Uganda,” government spokesman Ofwono Opondo stated on Sunday.
Endicott arrived in the Ugandan capital of Kampala on Monday. The manager of Wild Frontiers Uganda, Mike Rourke, told reporters that she was in the custody of personnel from the US Embassy.
Opondo stated that the kidnappers fled the scene of the rescue when law enforcement officers and soldiers moved in to save both hostages.