Olivia Ambrose, the Toast Inc. project manager who disappeared after a night out with friends in Boston, has been found alive. In a news conference, the Boston police commissioner identified the suspect as Victor Pena, and said that Pena is now accused of kidnapping Ambrose.
The report comes just after Boston police released two photos that they said showed a person of interest in the mysterious disappearance of Ambrose, a 23-year-old with a love for travel who vanished after leaving a Boston bar.
“UPDATE: 23-year-old Olivia Ambrose has been located and transported to an area hospital for evaluation purposes,” Boston police confirmed. “Thank you to everybody who aided, helped and assisted in the investigation and search. A press conference is scheduled for 6:00pm at BPD Headquarters.”
Pena’s arrest was captured on video. The police commissioner says it’s not clear what the motive was for the abduction but stated that Ambrose went “unwillingly.” He alleged that surveillance video captured the movements of Pena and Ambrose throughout the city and described Pena as clutching on to and guiding Ambrose. Ambrose was later found standing inside Pena’s apartment, the commissioner said, adding that authorities are still trying to determine whether Pena was in the bar that night.
Victor Pena was first identified by WCVB-TV journalist Kathy Curran as the suspect accused in the disappearance.
“Sources tell us the man in @bostonpolice custody in connection with the disappearance of Olivia Ambrose is 38 year old Victor Pena. He was living in Charlestown. He was homeless at one time and is known to Boston and @MBTATransitPD #wcvb,” Curran wrote on Twitter. Police, who were imminently planning a news conference, have not yet confirmed that information.
Journalist Michele McPhee first reported on Twitter that Ambrose had been found alive in the Bunker Hill projects. MassLive then reported that Ambrose’s twin sister had confirmed that it was true. The accounts did not release any further details about the circumstances of Olivia’s recovery and disappearance.
Here’s what you need to know:
Police Said Olivia Was Guided to a Station by a Man on the Street – Now Named as Victor Pena
The news about Olivia Ambrose being found comes shortly after police released a detailed timeline about her disappearance. They also released two photos they said were of a person of interest in the case. Police now say that man was Victor Pena. Here’s the second photo:
Journalist McPhee also released these images on Twitter, although police have not done so or confirmed them.
Police also released a detailed timeline of Olivia’s known movements in an effort to generate public tips in the case. Ambrose’s family and friends had joined police in mobilizing a massive effort to find Ambrose, who once studied in Scotland and is known for her love of travel.
At first, photos circulated of a different man last seen with Olivia in the bar. However, police now say they don’t believe that man is connected to her disappearance. He is not Pena.
A Facebook page was created to help find Olivia Ambrose. She is from Wenham and most recently was living in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Jamaica Plain is a neighborhood in Boston.
For the first time, police gave a chronology of the known circumstances surrounding Ambrose’s disappearance. Chillingly, they described two men approaching her and one directing her toward an MBTA station.
On January 22, 2019, before she was found, the Boston police wrote that they were “seeking the public’s help to identify the male in the photos above in connection to the investigation into missing person Olivia Ambrose who was last seen in the area of 25 Union Street in Downtown Boston on Saturday, January 19, 2019.”
They added: “Investigators have reviewed surveillance video and marked a timeline of events and locations in the areas of both Downtown Boston and Charlestown in hopes of better understanding the facts and circumstances surrounding Olivia Ambrose’s disappearance.”
Police provided this detailed timeline:
“11:04 PM: Ms. Ambrose is seen leaving a bar located at 25 Union Street (Hennessy’s) with a white male who has since been determined to not be involved in her disappearance.
11:42 PM: Approximately 40 minutes later, two unknown males are observed inviting Ms. Ambrose to walk with them in the area of Congress Street and State Street. One of the males appears to walk ahead while the second male places his arm around Ms. Ambrose and directs her towards the State Street MBTA Station.
12:01 AM: Approximately 20 minutes later, additional video shows Ms. Ambrose being accompanied by that same male, still with his arm around her, exiting the Bunker Hill Community MBTA Station in Charlestown. The other male party is no longer observed in any surveillance video moving forward.
12:13 AM: Approximately 10 minutes later, Ms. Ambrose and the unknown male are observed again in the area of Green Street walking together towards Bartlett Street. A short time later, phone records indicate Ms. Ambrose’s phone was in the general area of the Bunker Hill Housing Development.”
According to the Facebook page devoted to finding her, Olivia “Liviy” Ambrose was last seen “leaving Hennessy’s Bar on Saturday January 19th around 11pm. The bar is located on Union Street near Faneuil Hall, Haymarket and Govenment Center.” MassLive.com reports that Olivia was out with friends, including members of a volleyball team she played on.
Specifically, says the Facebook page, Ambrose was last seen around 11:04 p.m. on January 19, 2019 “with unidentified white male. Wearing a white/beige/grey coat with a red corduroy dress and doc martins.”
The Boston Police Department previously issued a missing person’s alert in Ambrose’s case. It provides a quick summation of information that is similar to the Facebook page, saying, “The Boston Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in efforts to locate Olivia Ambrose who was last seen in the area of 25 Union Street, Boston at about 10:00 p.m. on January 19, 2019. Ambrose is described as a 24-year-old white female, about 5’2”, with blue eyes and curly brown hair. She was last seen wearing a red corduroy dress under a long white and grey coat. Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Olivia Ambrose is advised to contact 911 or District A-1 (Downtown) Detectives at (617) 343-4248.”
MassLive reports before that Ambrose’s twin had described how they were all dancing at the establishment. Nothing seemed unusual. Her sister met a man at the bar, and left with him. That’s the last time anyone’s heard from her.
In her LinkedIn introduction, Ambrose wrote, “Whilst at university I studied a degree in Spanish, which led to me becoming fluent in the language, gaining excellent analytical skills, and developing excellent time management and organisational abilities.”
She added: “Over the years I have honed my technical and communication skills through both personal, academic, and professional endeavours. I have also been independent from a young age – moving from the US to the UK on my own when I was 18, and then again two years later as I moved to Spain for a year. Through these experiences I have learned to be flexible and can adapt to new environments and situations quickly. Moreover, I thrive in changing environments where there is always the element of surprise. I love to travel and immerse myself within different cultures and countries, which my international background would suggest, and I would love to combine my passion for seeing and understanding different parts of the world into my career.”
She describes Toast as a “an all-in-one point of sale and restaurant management system. Built specifically for restaurants on an affordable cloud-based platform, Toast offers advanced functionality including tableside ordering, quick menu modifications, real-time enterprise reporting, online ordering, and labor management on an easy-to-use interface.”
She received an MA (honors) in Spanish at her university.