Olivia Ambrose, who is called by the nickname “Liviy,” is a 23-year-old project manager and travel enthusiast who disappeared in Boston after a night out dancing with friends. Boston police now say she has been found – alive. They’ve accused a man named Victor Pena of kidnapping Ambrose.
“UPDATE: 23-year-old Olivia Ambrose has been located and transported to an area hospital for evaluation purposes,” Boston police reported on the afternoon of January 22, 2019. “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.”
Olivia’s sister also told MassLive that Olivia has been found alive. That news came on the afternoon of January 22, 2019. Further details of her recovery were not released, although she was undergoing an evaluation at a hospital.
Pena’s arrest was captured on video.
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.
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.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Ambrose Was Last Seen at a Boston Bar & Police Say She Was Found in Pena’s Apartment
In a news conference, the Boston police commissioner said the motive remains unclear but Ambrose was discovered standing inside Victor Pena’s apartment. He said authorities are still trying to determine whether Pena was ever inside the bar the night of Ambrose’s disappearance. The police commissioner emphasized that Ambrose went “unwillingly,” and he accused Pena of clutching and guiding Ambrose as cameras tracked their movements throughout Boston.
The surveillance video was crucial to solving the case. “The suspect was twice seen engaging Ms. Ambrose… actually clutching her, guiding her along… That was Mr. Pena only who had his arms around the victim,” the police commissioner alleged in the news conference. Authorities said they did not break down the door. Police were cryptic about many details as reporters peppered them with questions, seeking more specifics.
Shortly before the arrest, Boston police released photos they said were of a person of interest in Olivia’s disappearance. Ambrose left a tavern with a man whose name hasn’t been released. However, police now say that man isn’t connected to Ambrose’s disappearance. They released a set of photos of another man – now identified as Victor Pena.
You can see one of those photos above, and the other photo here:
Journalist Michele McPhee also released these photos on Twitter, although they were not included in the batch distributed by authorities.
“The Boston Police Department is 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,” police wrote before Pena’s arrest. “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.
The Facebook page devoted to finding her says that 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.”
2. Olivia’s Twin Sister Says They Were Dancing in the Bar & Then Olivia Left
MassLive reports that Ambrose has a twin sister named Francesa who, along with a friend named Kate Collins, told the publication they had seen Olivia around 10 p.m. as they all danced inside the bar.
“We were all dancing in front of the stage, nothing out of the ordinary,” said Collins to MassLive, which added that “Olivia then walked outside with a man who had been escorted out of the bar by a bouncer,” which was confirmed by surveillance video.
Francesca told NECN that her sister met a man in the bar: “At some point, she went to the bathroom, met the guy, and were talking for awhile, and eventually left together.”
That’s the last time anyone’s heard from her. Their mother told NECN: “She was supposed to meet with her workmates on Sunday — they had a tentative arrangement — and then she had a doctor’s appointment this morning, and she hasn’t show up for any of those.”
However, Francesca Ambrose, who goes by the name Franny, wrote on Facebook on January 21: “Hi everyone. As an update please focus on liviy and not the man in the photos. The police have contacted the man in the photo (he has been identified) and the police are doing their thing.” However, as noted above, police now say that man doesn’t appear to be connected to the disappearance.
Journalist Michele McPhee wrote on Twitter that, according to sources, Ambrose’s cell phone later pinged that night inside an Uber in Charlestown.
McPhee also claimed, although authorities have not confirmed this account: “BPD investigators have recovered video that shows Olivia Ambrose being followed and what appears to be abducted by two men near Congress & Washington Streets after she was tossed out of Hennessey’s Bar in Faneuil Hall Saturday night, sources said.”
She later added: “Boston Police officials have asked that the photo of the men being sought in connection with the apparent abduction of Olivia Ambrose being removed temporarily as the investigation continues. I am honoring that request. @bostonpolice.” Authorities have not named a suspect in the
The Facebook page devoted to finding Ambrose shared the above photos with the comment, “Does anyone recognize this man or logo on his shirt? He was last seen at Hennessy’s in Boston with a woman who is now missing. If you have any info, please contact Francesca Ambrose at 978-578-5702. PLEASE SHARE TO HELP.”
3. The Band That Was Playing That Night Has Shared Olivia’s Photos on Facebook & Her Mother Describes Her Happy Demeanor
The Facebook page for the band Kilroe has shared a series of photos showing Olivia Ambrose.
“Hi everyone. There is a missing girl, Olivia ‘Liviy’ Ambrose, last seen leaving our show around 11pm this past Saturday night at Hennessy’s. She left with the guy in these photos,” the page says.
“If you were at the show and recognize him or know what the logo is on his shirt please contact her sister or BPD. Her sister, Franny Ambrose, has set up a Facebook page: Missing Person: Help Find Olivia ‘Liviy’ Ambrose. Again if you have any information or took photos or videos at the show please contact the FB page or BPD. Thank you.”
On Facebook, where she went by Liviy Ambrose, Ambrose mostly posted photos showing her with friends and family. “She is a little ray of sunshine. She’s a great kid,” Olivia’s mother, Heather Ambrose, said to WHDH.com. “She’s always in touch. We talk all the time. She’s a happy girl.”
4. Ambrose’s Family Said It Was Not Like Her to Disappear
Olivia’s family members have told local journalists that it makes no sense that Olivia would just disappear. According to CBS Boston, her family members say she left the bar without saying goodbye and had been dancing with the man she left with that night.
“The guy who she was with was the one who got kicked out of the bar and that she left with at about 11:04 p.m.,” her sister told the television station, which added that Olivia and the man were captured by a surveillance camera “walking across Union Street.”
Journalist Jennifer Eagan wrote on Twitter on January 21, 2019, “Family and friends are searching for 23 year old Olivia Ambrose today. She was last seen leaving Hennessy’s in Faneuil Hall Saturday night around 11p. Her sister, mom and dad say it is very unlike Olivia to not be in touch with them.”
Co-workers have also shared in the concern.
“Anything at all. Even if they don’t think it is relevant, it might be. We just want to have her get in touch with us or somebody get in touch with us. We just want to hear from her and have her home,” Ambrose’s mother told WCVB-TV of the outreach goals.
5. Olivia Loves Travel & to Immerse Herself in Different Cultures
According to MassLive, Olivia, an University of Edinburgh graduate, is employed at Toast, Inc. Olivia’s LinkedIn profile says she is a project coordinator at Toast.
In her LinkedIn introduction, she 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.”
While in college, Olivia had a series of internships and other experiences. For example, she wrote that she “worked with a team during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to provide smooth front of house operation of catering services. In addition to this I maintained very high standards of customer service and product quality at all times and demonstrated a positive, helpful and welcoming attitude to all customers.” She was also a summer intern for EBSCO Information Services, for MITRE, and was a teen night assistant.
She received an MA (honors) in Spanish at her university.