Olivia Ambrose rescued with help of iPhone app; brother ‘100% sure’ suspect didn’t kidnap her

The whereabouts of a kidnapped woman in Boston came to light, at least in part, due to her iPhone’s tracking service, the “Find my iPhone” app, police have said.

As previously reported by CrimeOnline, 23-year-old Olivia Ambrose was discovered Tuesday afternoon in the Charleston apartment of her alleged captor, 38-year-old Victor M. Pena.

Boston police said Olivia’s location was pinpointed by the Find my iPhone app, which showed her to be in the vicinity of Corey Road and Walford Way, as reported by the Boston Globe. The missing woman’s twin, Franny, had reportedly used the app while working with officials, hoping to find her sister alive.

Witnesses, the app, and surveillance footage from the area eventually led police to Olivia, and her subsequent rescue, according to authorities. The rescue came about two-and-a-half days after the woman vanished.

Olivia reportedly disappeared Saturday night while at Hennessy’s bar with Franny and a group of friends. Police said surveillance cameras caught her outside with a man who’d been kicked out of the bar before they left together at 11:05 p.m. Since then, police said that man wasn’t involved in Olivia’s kidnapping.

On Tuesday, police released photos taken near State Street MBTA station which apparently showed Peña putting his arm around Olivia while a second man walked ahead of them. Boston police said Wednesday that the second man turned himself in and is now considered a witness in their investigation, according to WFXT.

A report obtained by WCRB stated that Pena opened his Charleston apartment door Tuesday afternoon for police who had been knocking on it for 20 minutes and were in the process of dismantling the locks. Once opened, officers found Olivia “crying with a horrified look on her face,” standing next to Pena, who “refused to comply and resisted violently,” according to the report.

On Thursday, Franny took to Facebook to thank all who helped to find Olivia alive. She also asked everyone for a “huge favor”—to take down posts related to her twin’s disappearance—so as not to upset the girl with “reminders” when she “decides to return” to the social media site.

In an interview with the Boston Globe, Pena’s older brother reportedly denied that his brother, who he said had “mental problems,” abducted the woman. Instead, he said “the alleged kidnapping had grown out of a misunderstanding,” adding that “Pena’s mental capacity was sharply reduced at 7 years old” due to a health-related issue “that had cut off oxygen to his brain.”

“Him kidnapping her, I’m 100 percent sure he didn’t,” Jose Pena told the newspaper.

The brother claimed the suspect, whom he described as a “hoarder,” told him Olivia went to his apartment “willingly,” and decided not to leave because “she was afraid her father would be mad.”

Further, the man insisted that his brother did not sexually assault or hurt Olivia.

On Tuesday, the suspect was reportedly “sobbing” while attending court.

A psychologist told the court that Pena claimed he was hearing voices and was confused as to why he was being arrested. She also claimed he exhibited some psychotic symptoms, but noted that those can be exaggerated during an evaluation, MassLive reported.

A mental evaluation has been ordered to determine whether Pena is mentally competent for arraignment. He remains at Bridgewater State Hospital, where the 20-day evaluation is underway.