Kidnapping Suspect Held Pending Mental Health Evaluation

Boston Police, Person of Interest Oliva Ambrose

Victor Pena, pictured on MBTA surveillance, is charged with kidnapping. (Boston Police)

CHARLESTOWN (WBZ-AM) — The man accused of abducting Olivia Ambrose and holding her in his apartment for three days was ordered held without bail pending a psychological evaluation.

Victor Pena, 38, charged with kidnapping. His Wednesday arraignment in Charlestown Municipal Court was delayed for a time while he met with a court-appointed clinician. Pena wept as that clinician told the judge Pena has mental health issues and was showing signs of psychosis and bizarre behavior.

"It would appear that he does have some psychotic symptoms," the clinician said. "It's also quite possible that he's exaggerating some of those symptoms."

The judge then ordered Pena held without bail while he undergoes a 20-day mental health evaluation at Bridgewater State Hospital.

Ambrose, 23, went missing Saturday night after last being seen leaving Hennessey's Bar near Faneuil Hall around 11 p.m. Later, she was seen on surveillance being led by Pena away from the MBTA Bunker Hill Community College stop in Charlestown and toward the Bunker Hill housing development. 

"Twice, Pena was observed engaging Ms. Ambrose ... to the point where at certain points he was physically guiding and holding on to her," Boston Police Commissioner William Gross said at a press conference Tuesday evening. “It’s obvious from the video surveillance that she did not go along willingly.”

Court documents showed that police were able to track Ambrose down using a signal from her cell phone. They say Pena allegedly took the phone from Ambrose once he got her home Saturday night, and when she got it back, she was able to text her mother.

Police said that, when they got to the apartment on Walford Way in Charlestown where Ambrose was being held, they knocked on the door for 20 minutes before drilling the lock off. When they got inside, they said Ambrose was crying, and Pena allegedly resisted arrest.

A Dorchester woman who was staying at her grandparents' apartment Monday night—just below Pena's apartment—told WBZ NewsRadio's Kim Tunnicliffe she heard loud Spanish music coming from above. Ambrose was allegedly there at the time. The music went on for about 20 minutes before stopping suddenly.

"I never hear music at all when I'm here, so it was just weird," she said.

She added that, four years ago, her then-14-year-old cousin had a scary run-in with Pena.

"He tried to invite her into his apartment after she went to retrieve a ball that went inside his window," she said. "He said, why do you want to leave? Come in and look for the ball, it's not here, I can't find it ... she took off running."

The woman said her cousin now feels bad she never reported the incident, because maybe she could've prevented the kidnapping. 

Four and a half years ago, Pena's ex-girlfriend told police she feared for her safety when Pena was alleged to have violated a restraining order. That charge was eventually dismissed. 

Pena is due back in court February 11. If convicted, he could face ten years in prison.

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