1 month after AMBER Alert, grandmother and granddaughter remain missing

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — UPDATE (6:00 p.m. Sep. 4):

Photos provided by the Harrisonburg Police Dept. of the tractor trailer Sariol was driving when arrested in Pennsylvania, a photo of Sariol provided in the initial AMBER Alert, the burned Civic recovered from I-66, and a surveillance photo of the Civic when spotted in a Harrisonburg parking lot on Sunday, August 5.

One month after the disappearance of 48-year-old Elizabeth Rodriguez Rubio and her granddaughter, 12-year-old Angie Carolina Rodriguez Rubio, the man police say abducted them has been transferred from Pennsylvania jails back to Rockingham County.

Hareton Jamie Rodriguez Sariol is now being held in Rockingham County Jail, but police say there is no new information they can offer about the investigation into the whereabouts of Elizabeth and Angie.

On August 5, Sariol – a family friend who had grown increasingly obsessed with Elizabeth, according to family – was supposed to drive them from Harrisonburg to their home in Maryland, but they never arrived.

The two family members were last seen in Dukes Plaza getting into his 2001 Honda Civic.

Then, that car was seen in the Burgess Lane shopping center before heading north on Route 11 toward the Mauzy area, followed by a number of back roads, including Indian Trail Road, Fellowship Road, Trinity Church Road, and Buffalo Drive, and finally back to Harrisonburg.

Police say he may have stopped on the shoulder of Interstate 81 somewhere between mile markers 251 and 256 between 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, August 5.

They believe he took Route 33 east after coming back to Harrisonburg, traveling to the Ruckersville, Somerset and Orange County areas. HPD said the vehicle was also reported on the western side of Spotsylvania County near Lane Anna.

Early on the morning of August 6, the car was found fully engulfed in flames on Interstate 66 near mile marker 2. Sariol was then seen driving a 2000 Volvo tractor trailer, which he took on I-81 from Mount Crawford to Harrisonburg and Mount Jackson and north to New York before his arrest in Lakawanna County, Pennsylvania on Tuesday evening.

He's charged with two counts of abduction.

But a month later, Elizabeth and Angie remain missing. The AMBER Alert issued initially for their abduction was canceled a few days later because, with Sariol arrested, the case no longer met the criteria of an AMBER Alert.

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the chances of finding missing people decrease drastically after just the few first days.

Suspicious activity, vehicle sightings, or other observations from Sunday, August 5 through Tuesday, August 7 should be reported to the Harrisonburg Police Department.

Anyone with immediate information about where Elizabeth and Angie Rodriguez Rubio is asked to call 911 immediately. All other information and tips can be submitted through HPD’s local Crime Solvers line at 540-574-5050 or text “HPD” plus their tip to CRIMES (274637).

Elizabeth came to the United States from Colombia years ago as a refugee and was an active member of the Harrisonburg community in her church before moving to Maryland. They say she always dresses elegantly and that she's very smart, sweet and pleasant. Members of her church have been praying since her disappearance for the safe return of Elizabeth and Angie.

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UPDATE (3:45 p.m. Aug. 21):

Two weeks after an AMBER Alert was issued for a grandmother and granddaughter reportedly abducted in Harrisonburg, police have released new details in the investigation.

The Harrisonburg Police Department is working with local agencies in Virginia and Pennsylvania, as well as federal authorities like the FBI and U.S. Marshals, to try and find 48-year-old Elizabeth Rodriguez Rubio and her granddaughter, 12-year-old Angie Carolina Rodriguez Rubio.

Hareton Jamie Rodriguez Sariol, a man who police say had grown increasingly obsessed with Elizabeth until he abducted the pair instead of taking them to their Maryland home on August 5, remains in custody in Pennsylvania, where he was arrested on the evening of August 7.

On Sunday, August 5, Elizabeth and Angie were last seen in the early afternoon in Dukes Plaza getting into Sariol's 2001 red, two-door Honda Civic. That Civic was then seen in the Burgess Lane shopping center before heading north on Route 11 toward the Mauzy area, then on a number of back roads, including Indian Trail Road, Fellowship Road, Trinity Church Road, and Buffalo Drive, and finally back to Harrisonburg.

Police now say he may have stopped on the shoulder of Interstate 81 somewhere between mile markers 251 and 256 between 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, August 5.

If you saw his vehicle, him, or the missing women in that area at that time, you should contact HPD’s local Crime Solvers line at 540-574-5050 or text “HPD” plus their tip to CRIMES (274637).

If you have immediate information about Elizabeth or Angie's whereabouts, call 911 immediately.

Police believe Sariol traveled on Route 33 after coming back to Harrisonburg, using the highway to go to the Ruckersville, Somerset and Orange County areas. HPD said the vehicle was also reported on the western side of Spotsylvania County near Lane Anna.

Early on the morning of August 6, the car was found fully engulfed in flames on Interstate 66 near mile marker 2. Sariol was then seen driving a 2000 Volvo tractor trailer, which he took on I-81 from Mount Crawford to Harrisonburg and Mount Jackson and north to New York before his arrest in Lakawanna County, Pennsylvania on Tuesday evening.

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UPDATE (2:30 p.m. Aug. 14):

The Harrisonburg Police Department believes Hareton Jamie Rodriguez Sariol traveled on Route 11 and through Rockingham County before returning to Harrisonburg the night Elizabeth Rodriguez Rubio and her granddaughter, Angie, were last seen in the city.

Rodriguez Rubio and her granddaughter, Angie Carolina Rodriguez Rubio, were last seen on Sunday, August 5, early in the afternoon in Dukes Plaza off South Main Street. The two were reported missing on Tuesday, August 7.

They were supposed to be taken to their home in Maryland by Sariol, but never arrived. According to family, Sariol had known the grandmother and her granddaughter for some time and had become increasingly obsessed with the grandmother.

Based on information received, eyewitness accounts, video footage, and data from electronic devices, investigators with Harrisonburg police have looked into a variety of locations and areas throughout the state to recreate Sariol's path from Harrisonburg on Sunday afternoon to Pennsylvania on Tuesday evening, when he was arrested.

On Sunday, August 5, police said Sariol's 2001 red, two-door Honda Civic was seen in Harrisonburg. According to HPD, the vehicle traveled northbound on Route 11 out of Harrisonburg and into Rockingham County to the exit 257 (Mauzy) area of I-81 and in the areas of Indian Trail Road, Fellowship Road, Trinity Church Road, and Buffalo Drive, before returning to Harrisonburg.

Police believe Sariol then traveled on Route 33 from Harrisonburg to the Ruckersville, Somerset and Orange County areas. HPD said the vehicle was also reported on the western side of Spotsylvania County near Lane Anna.

The vehicle was last seen on Monday, August 6 around 3:00 a.m. involved in a vehicle fire on Interstate 66 near mile marker 2.

Police said Sariol was also driving a 2000 Volvo tractor trailer on various occasions from Monday, August 6 to Tuesday afternoon on August 7. HPD said he drove on Interstate 81 from Mount Crawford to Harrisonburg and Mount Jackson and north to New York before his arrest in Lakawanna County, Pennsylvania on Tuesday evening.

HPD is the lead investigating agency, but is partnering with other local, state and federal agencies.

Police provided no information on Sariol's believed activities in the areas where he drove. It's also unclear if he has cooperated with law enforcement in Pennsylvania.

Although investigators continue to search, residents are asked to assist by reporting information that could lead to the whereabouts of Rodriguez Rubio and her granddaughter, Angie.

Property owners are encouraged to check their property for any evidence of human or vehicle activity that could aid in the investigation. Suspicious activity, vehicle sightings, or other observations from Sunday, August 5 through Tuesday, August 7 should be reported to the Harrisonburg Police Department.

Anyone with immediate information about where Elizabeth and Angie Rodriguez Rubio is asked to call 911 immediately. All other information and tips can be submitted through HPD’s local Crime Solvers line at 540-574-5050 or text “HPD” plus their tip to CRIMES (274637).

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UPDATE (6:15 p.m. Aug. 10):

Five days since Elizabeth Rodriguez Rubio and her granddaughter, Angie, were last seen in Harrisonburg getting into a car with a man their family had once trusted, the search continues for any evidence of where the two may be.

The Harrisonburg Police Department has now partnered with agencies across Virginia into Pennsylvania, as well as the FBI, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Marshals, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

On Thursday, search efforts focused on an area in Rockingham County, but police say the search is wide open now, including specific sections of both Rockingham and Orange counties on Friday.

All available resources are being dedicated to this search, including drones being used to record aerial imagery, ground searches throughout Harrisonburg and surrounding areas, K9 units being used for search and rescue, as well as evidence collection, and follow-up interviews with all known associates of Elizabeth, Angie, and their suspected abductor, Hareton Jamie Rodriguez Sariol.

Police say the resources have been devoted according to at least a dozen tips they've received from the public since an AMBER Alert was issued on Tuesday.

Federal authorities are also assisting Harrisonburg police with searching Sariol's car, which went up in flames on Interstate 66 early Monday morning, for evidence.

Sariol, who was supposed to take the pair to their Maryland home, remains in custody in Lakawanna, Pennsylvania, where he was arrested on Tuesday shortly after an AMBER Alert was sent out for Angie and a Critically Missing Adult Alert for Elizabeth.

A timeline laying out what police know happened, along with information from family, can be found in our previous update below.

If you have any immediate information about Elizabeth or Angie's whereabouts, call 911 immediately. All other information related to the search can be passed on by calling the Crime Solvers tip line at 540-574-5050 or by texting “HPD” plus a tip to CRIMES (274637).

The Rodriguez Rubio family is holding out hope for good news.

"We don't know anything at all regarding their location, and everybody's very worried and very stressed about the situation," said David Barrero, Elizabeth's son.

Elizabeth came to the United States from Colombia years ago as a refugee and has been an active member of the Harrisonburg community in her church. They say she always dresses elegantly and that she's very smart, sweet and pleasant. Members of her church have been praying since her disappearance for the safe return of Elizabeth and Angie.

Hareton, who the Rubio family once trusted before he became increasingly obsessed with Elizabeth, escaped Cuba under the Castro regime on a makeshift raft in 2006 and was admitted to the U.S. as a refugee. From 2015 to 2016, Church World Service provided employment services to Elizabeth. In 2016, they provided employment services to Hareton.

"We were extremely concerned to learn that Elizabeth and Angie are missing," said Church World Service in a statement to WHSV. "We are praying for their safety and hope that they are swiftly located and returned home."

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UPDATE (2:30 p.m. Aug. 9):

The Harrisonburg Police Department has released new information in the continuing investigation of an alleged abduction that led to an AMBER Alert earlier this week.

Elizabeth Rodriguez Rubio and her granddaughter, Angie, remain missing as of Thursday, two days after their alleged abductor was arrested in Pennyslvania.

According to police, the pair was supposed to be taken by Hareton Jamie Rodriguez Sariol to a home in Maryland, but never arrived there.

They had been visiting Elizabeth's daughter in Harrisonburg when they were last seen around 1:30 p.m. on Sunday in Dukes Plaza, near Ollie's Bargain Outlet, getting into Sariol's red 2-door Honda Civic.

Shortly afterward, police say Hareton took Elizabeth and Angie to the Walmart shopping center along Burgess Road around 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Then, over 12 hours later, the Civic was found fully engulfed in flames around 3 a.m. on Monday on Interstate 66 in Warren County. When police arrived, however, there was no one around the car.

It's been sent back to Harrisonburg to be processed for evidence. Virginia State Police say there was no sign of foul play in the fire.

According to family of Rubio, Hareton had been a family friend, but, over time, had become increasingly obsessed with Elizabeth.

They say he called Elizabeth's daughter to say he had dropped them off in Maryland on Monday, but when the family didn't hear back from her or Angie, and saw reports of the burned car, they became extremely worried.

An AMBER Alert was issued for Angie, along with a Critically Missing Adult Alert for Elizabeth, on Tuesday afternoon.

That evening, around 5 p.m., Hareton was arrested in Lakawanna, Pennsylvania driving a white Volvo tractor trailer, which was seized. According to family, Hareton's cell phone was also found destroyed.

Hareton, according to a previous profile by the Church World Service, worked as a police officer in Cuba before he immigrated to the U.S. years ago.

He remains in Pennsylvania for questioning, awaiting extradition back to Harrisonburg.

There is a large gap in the police timeline from the time the Civic was seen at the Burgess Rd. shopping center on Sunday afternoon and when it was found on fire on I-66 early Monday morning.

If you saw the red Civic pictured below in that timeframe, anywhere from Harrisonburg to northern Virginia, you're asked to contact police immediately about what you may have seen.

Residents, property owners, and businesses are asked to report any information on the whereabouts of Elizabeth or Angie as detectives continue working on the case.

Family members believe they are somewhere between Harrisonburg and Washington, D.C.

WHSV will have an exclusive interview with Elizabeth Rodriguez Rubio's son in our 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. newscasts on Thursday.

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UPDATE (11:30 a.m. Aug. 8):

The search continues for a grandmother and granddaughter police say were abducted from a busy part of Harrisonburg on Sunday afternoon.

Elizabeth Rodriguez Rubio, 48, and her granddaughter, Angie Carolina Rodriguez Rubio, 12, were reported missing to Harrisonburg Police on Tuesday morning. They had last been seen around 1:30 p.m. on Sunday at Life Song Church in Dukes Plaza along South Main Street (Route 11).

That's in the area of Ollie's Bargain Outlet.

They were immediately entered into missing persons databases upon the report Tuesday morning and an AMBER Alert was issued for Angie, as well as a Critically Missing Adult Alert for Elizabeth.

Why were they not reported missing for about a day and a half? According to Harrisonburg police, the family first attempted to find them on their own, possibly driving to Maryland in their attempt.

When the AMBER Alert was first issued Tuesday afternoon, police believed that 48-year-old Hareton Jamie Rodriguez Sariol, who allegedly abducted them, was likely headed to New York.

He was arrested in Lackawanna, Pennyslvania around 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

A white 2000 Volvo tractor trailer, owned by AMG Express, which Hareton had been driving, was recovered and is being scoured for evidence.

Before he was driving the tractor trailer, however, police say he was transporting the grandmother and granddaughter in his car, until it caught fire at mile marker 2 of Interstate 66 in Warren County around 3 a.m. Monday morning.

According to Sgt. Les Tyler, with Virginia State Police, there's no evidence of foul play in that car fire, but the cause is still under investigation. When police arrived to the scene, no one was found in or around the vehicle.

That car has since been recovered by the Harrisonburg Police Department.

Investigators continue to question Hareton, who they say had a long-standing infatuation with Elizabeth, for information about her whereabouts and the whereabouts of her granddaughter. He's currently being held in Pennsylvania, pending extradition back to Harrisonburg on two charges of abduction.

Harrisonburg investigators are working with Virginia State Police, the U.S. Marshal Service, and the FBI to try and locate Elizabeth and Angie. There are still many gaps in the timeline from Sunday afternoon to Tuesday evening.

If you have any information about the whereabouts of Elizabeth Rodriguez Rubio and her granddaughter, Angie Carolina Rodriguez Rubio, call 911 immediately.

Any non-immediate information that could be a tip can be submitted through HPD’s local Crime Solvers line at 540-574-5050 or text “HPD” plus their tip to CRIMES (274637).

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UPDATE (4:49 p.m. Aug. 7):

The man believed to have abducted a grandmother and her granddaughter from Harrisonburg has been taken into custody, but the woman and girl remain missing.

According to the Harrisonburg Police Department, Hareton Jaime Rodriguez-Sariol was arrested in Pennsylvania and is being questioned by officers as to the whereabouts of 48-year-old Elizabeth Rodriguez Rubio and her 12-year-old granddaughter, Angie Carolina Rodriguez Rubio.

He was apprehended by the Pennsylvania State Police with the assistance of the U.S. Marshal Service, and the tractor trailer he was driving was seized.

Police say Hareton has a history of infatuation with Elizabeth and abducted her, along with her granddaughter, from the 2800 block of South Main Street on Sunday afternoon and headed north.

A vehicle police believe they were traveling in was involved in a fire that shut down northbound Interstate 66 in Warren County early Monday morning. They say Hareton then took both Elizabeth and Angie with him in a tractor trailer owned by AMG Express.

Virginia State Police and the U.S. Marshal Service are assisting Harrisonburg police in the search.

The HPD Major Crimes Unit continues investigating the abduction.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Elizabeth or Angie, call 911 immediately.

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An AMBER Alert has been issued for a child and a Critically Missing Adult Alert for her grandmother; both were last seen on South Main Street in Harrisonburg.

According to the Harrisonburg Police Department, Elizabeth Rodriguez Rubio, 48, and her granddaughter, Angie Carolina Rodriguez Rubio, 12, were reported missing Tuesday morning.

They were last seen with Hareton Jaime Rodriguez-Sariol, who is believed to have abducted them, on Sunday around 1:30 p.m. in the 2800 block of South Main Street.

Rodriguez-Sariol's vehicle went up in flames near mile marker 2 on Interstate 66 in Warren County. Police think Elizabeth and Angie had been with him in the vehicle and that's where Hareton was last seen.

The vehicle was a total loss.

Police say he is now traveling to New York with the two victims in a white 2000 Volvo tractor trailer, owned by AMG Express LLC, with Virginia registration 217-39PZ.

Angie and Elizabeth are believed to be in extreme danger. Police say Hareton has a history of infatuation with Elizabeth.

He is wanted by the Harrisonburg Police Department for two counts of abduction.

Elizabeth, the grandmother, is described as a 48-year-old Hispanic woman standing 5-feet, 4-inches tall, weighing 140 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a burgundy blouse and black skirt.

Angie is described as a Hispanic 12-year-old girl standing 5-feet, 1-inches tall, weighing 112 pounds with curly long brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a black blouse with flowers on it, black leggings, and white sandals.

Hareton is described as a Hispanic male standing 5-feet, 6-inches tall, weighing 180 pounds, with short black hair and brown eyes. He was wearing unknown clothing at the time.

Anyone with information on the immediate whereabouts of these individuals is asked to call 911 immediately.

For additional tips and information, call HPD’s local Crime Solvers line at 540-574-5050 or text “HPD” plus their tip to CRIMES (274637).


Mugshot of Hareton Jaime Rodriguez-Sariol provided to WHSV by Lackawanna County Prison.