A woman has been found safe after police say her boyfriend kidnapped her at gunpoint early Wednesday in Northwest Washington, D.C., authorities say.
Marquez Parker, 44, forced his girlfriend, 30-year-old Selita Lee, into a car at gunpoint outside the AVA apartment building in the 2900 block of Van Ness Street NW, police said.
About 2:40 p.m., police said that they found Lee. Sources familiar with the investigation told News4 that Lee broke free and called her relatives, who then called police. She is in good health and with police officials at this time, according to the sources.
Parker's whereabouts are still unknown.
Investigators found the car that was used in the alleged kidnapping earlier in the day, Commander John Haines said at a news conference.
“She is in danger,” Haines had said. “We are begging for the public’s help.”
Parker is described as a person of interest, but police are seeking a warrant for his arrest, Haines said.
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Police were initially called to the Van Ness neighborhood about 3:40 a.m. for reports of an armed person, police said in a release. Haines said officers initially had trouble finding the location.
A witness told officers that a man first tried to put a woman into the trunk of a car, but then put her into the cab, Haines said.
Helicopters and search dogs were seen searching the area.
Officers were looking for a gold Ford Fusion with D.C. tags and found that vehicle in the 3500 block of Ames Street Northeast D.C. later Wednesday morning. Video from the scene shows first responders opening the trunk of the car. No one was inside.
Haines said police were working to obtain search warrants so they could process the car.
Haines said police are aware of video circulating on social media that shows some of the incident. He said Parker may have streamed the incident live on Instagram. The video has police very concerned, Haines said.
Haines said police weren’t aware of a history of violence between the two. However, he said Parker is known to the Metropolitan Police Department.
Anyone with information is asked to call 911.
“Ms Lee, if you’re out there and you’re safe, please, please call us. We just want to make sure you’re OK,” Haines said. “Mr. Parker, same thing. If it’s just a misunderstanding, call us and we’ll help figure the situation out.”
Lee and Parker had recently moved into the AVA Van Ness building together, Haines said.
It’s the same building from which a gunman unleashed bullets onto the neighborhood below in a “sniper-style” shooting in April, injuring four people, including a 12-year-old girl.
A woman who lives in the building says waking up to hear of an armed kidnapping in the building was frightening, especially after the recent shooting.
“It’s very scary, very nerve-wracking. I’ve never felt unsafe in our building before; I’ve lived there six years. It’s starting to really feel concerning,” she said.
Stay with News4 for updates on this developing story.