Jan 23, 2012 8:25 PM by Zach Thaxton

Police call couple "heroes" for helping to capture Calysta's alleged kidnapper

A Colorado Springs police spokesperson doesn't mince words when it comes to Victor and Rhianna Matthews.  "Heroes," she calls them.  Victor and Rhianna Matthews deny the flattering allegation, saying they're just normal people who were in the right place at the right time.

The couple and their two children, ages 9 and 10, were in downtown Colorado Springs for a quick run to Kinko's when they spotted him -- a man matching the description of a man at the center of an Amber Alert for 9-year-old Calysta Cordova, believed abducted from Pueblo the prior afternoon.  Rhianna spotted the man as he walked into the 7-Eleven at Tejon Street and Pikes Peak Avenue.  "It has to be the guy," Victor said he remembers Rhianna saying.  "With the hoodie, the shirt, the shoes, the baggy shorts -- everything was perfect," he said.

Victor then called 911, alerting Colorado Springs police to the man at the center of a statewide search.  The man who entered the 7-Eleven then came out with a beverage he had purchased, coming within five feet of Victor as he remained on the line with 911.  "He was just by himself and nonchalant," Victor said.  "Like, we really need to get the cops over here because if they see this guy and talk to him and if happens to be the guy, then this is going to solve a huge problem."  Victor says he and Rhianna feared what might happen if they didn't take immediate action.  "If he's going to the bus station and he gets a bus out of here, who know's what's going to happen next?"

Within minutes of Victor's 911 call, police arrived at the downtown bus terminal and took Jose Garcia into custory without incident.

"It's really important for people to pay attention because anybody could spot that guy," Victor said.  "He was just walking downtown like nothing was going on."  He says the entire ordeal should serve as an example to all parents and children.  "If the kids learn from the little girl and the adults learn from just paying attention and listening, then we could solve these problems faster all the time."


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