A housekeeper for Michael Bloomberg is now safe after she was kidnapped at gunpoint from the former New York mayor’s Colorado ranch and forced to drive hundreds of miles to a motel in another state.
Authorities say the suspect, identified as Joseph Beecher, rammed the gate of the 4,600-acre estate in his pickup truck.
Bloomberg, who is one of the wealthiest people in the United States, purchased the property for $45 million in 2020.
Beecher was reportedly looking for Bloomberg’s two daughters, Emma and Georgina. But when he was told they weren’t there, he allegedly pointed a black machine gun at the housekeeper’s face and ordered her into his truck.
What followed was a terrifying 350-mile abduction, from the estate to Denver, Colorado, and across state lines to Cheyenne, Wyoming, according to authorities.
Cops say at one point, they stopped at a bank where Beecher allegedly forced the housekeeper to withdraw hundreds of dollars from an ATM. The housekeeper managed to look into the surveillance camera and mouth the words, “Help me.”
Twelve hours after the abduction, authorities say they tracked the kidnapper to a Cheyenne motel by using the “Find my iPad” app on the housekeeper’s iPhone, which had been left behind at the Bloomberg ranch.
An FBI SWAT team stormed the room and rescued the housekeeper.
“He made her sleep in the bed with him, with her head on his chest, her arm around his middle and her leg over his,” court documents say.
Hostage experts praised the housekeeper for remaining calm throughout the ordeal, which may have helped save her life.
“We’re deeply grateful to…law enforcement…for their swift and heroic action in this case in ensuring that no lives were lost and that the victim has been rescued and safely returned to her family,” Bloomberg said in a statement.
Authorities say they know of no connection between the suspect and the Bloomberg family.