UPDATE, Oct. 18: Authorities told ABC-7 on Monday that a couple with ties to a criminal cartel, accused of kidnapping a 33-year-old woman for five hours on Sunday, was in custody following a standoff with local and federal law enforcement in southern New Mexico.
"We understood from El Paso police that the woman escaped her captors. She had been taken from her residence in La Mesa to El Paso, and it was there that she escaped," Dona Ana County Sheriff Kim Stewart said.
"We have the one couple in custody, their names we aren't releasing," she added. "It did turn out to be a much larger case involving a trans-national cartel, and that part of the story we'll leave to our Homeland Security partners."
The sheriff said the man and woman arrested have been charged with first-degree kidnapping, but did not elaborate on the circumstances surrounding the abduction or a motive. Federal officials have not commented on the case.
ORIGINAL REPORT, Oct. 17: DONA ANA COUNTY, New Mexico -- Dona Ana County Sheriff's deputies and federal law enforcement agents were engaged in standoff with the suspected kidnappers of a girl on Sunday night.
That standoff with a SWAT team and other officers was taking place in San Miguel at a house at 101 Savannah Road, located near Choppes Restaurant.
It followed the reported kidnapping about 4:15 a.m. from a home on Union in the Mesilla Valley area; abductors kicked in the front door and took the victim.
Authorities said the girl was later found safe in El Paso by police around 9 a.m.; based on her information, it allowed law enforcement to obtain a warrant - which led to the standoff.
The number of suspected abductors, the victim's age and the motive and other circumstances behind the kidnapping weren't disclosed.
Further details weren't immediately available from authorities.