Live to Tell: Kidnap on Highway 1

48 Hours: A Family Returning from Vacation in Mexico is Ambushed, Kidnapped as they Approach U.S. Border

Divinia Hall: After being told for I don't know how many times that you're gonna die, like- there's not a lot of other options to think.

Debra Hall: In the truck, Chris had a radio that is specifically made for off-road racing. Right before they were opening the door, I grabbed the mic and I said, "Is anyone out there? We need help." No one came back on the race radio.

ChrisHall : There was nobody to turn to, nobody to call, nowhere to go.

Debra: Once they realized that the race radio was there, they ripped it off the mount. They ripped out the wires.

Divinia: When all this was happening, a guy climbed into the truck on my brother's side.

Debra: There were guys in the back seat with the kids with guns on them as well.
I tried to reach back behind me and touch them and pat their legs or rub their legs. And I just kept telling them, "I love you" and "It's gonna be OK. The whole time I'm doing this, there's this guy with a gun in my side yelling at me to shut up and keep my head down.


Chris: This took place in November 2007. We went down for the Baja 1000. It was Tyler's- it was gonna be his 16th birthday.

Debra: Chris and Tyler were working as part of a pit crew for the Baja 1000.
Tyler started racing motorcycles when he was five. He's very adventurous.

Divinia: Ever since my dad would take him, he would jump in a car; help out where he could with changing tires, or handing a driver a water bottle… anything he could do to spend the day in the dirt.

Debra: As a family, we traveled to Mexico a lot.

Chris: We would just go and have fun. It was just - you didn't have a care. You just - you went down and relaxed on the beach. It was always warm.

Debra: Cabo San Lucas is the very south tip of the Baja peninsula - it's amazing.
The day before we came back, we had stopped along a little spit of beach coming up the peninsula and probably 35 people met up with us on this deserted beach. And we all barbequed and drank beers on the beach and camped out overnight… and that was probably the most perfect day we've ever had down there.

Divinia: It was awesome.


Divinia: We got up really early in the morning to drive home. At first we were caravanning on the way home. And those caravans get a little broken up.

Chris: We were pulling a big travel trailer, so we weren't driving nearly as fast as anybody else.

Divinia: The plan was to stop in another city and sleep.

Debra: I'm using the cell phone and calling the hotel and confirming, "Yes we're gonna check in late, we still want that room, please hold the room." "No problem Mrs. Hall, keep coming, we've got your room." When we get there the room's gone. I really think that was the turning point.

Chris: I was tired. I was like, "You know what? We're not that far from home. We're just gonna keep going home."

Debra: Just go forward five hours and sleep in our own bed. At the time it seemed like an OK idea.


Divinia: My Dad said "Please take it all. Leave us here. Just - whatever you want, take it. Leave us here." And the guy took his gun and put it to my Dad's forehead, and said, "Shut up."

I was so afraid that I was gonna watch my Dad get shot. Right there in front of me - six inches from where I was standing.

Debra: I could hear Chris breathing really heavily, like in through his nose and kind of shuttering out through his mouth. I could hear Tyler breathing really, really heavily… and I never heard a peep out of Divinia.

Chris: Debra had to sit up and pretend like everything was OK. I remember her crying and - and hold - trying to reach back and hold Tyler's hand.

Debra: Chris is the even-keeled one in our family. He kind of sets the tone for things… if he's- he turned white-grey - he looked like he was gonna be sick. And if he's scared, I'm scared.

Chris: We begged 'em, "Just please let our kids go. Let the kids go." We - Debra and I didn't care what happened to us.

Debra: These are my babies. My - they don't need this. Just let them walk away. We're out in the middle of nowhere. My kids are not gonna hurt you. They're not gonna call anyone. Just let them go. And they didn't care.

Chris: They just laughed at us and said "Shut up about your kids."

Debra: I think the gunmen were nervous once they discovered it was an entire family in the truck, and that scared me in itself because the dynamics have changed; they're nervous too.

Chris: And then he started driving and the cars followed us.

Debra: And then they made a right-hand turn off the toll road… but not an exit or anything - and then drove up into the hills.

Divinia: They said they were gonna shoot us. That we were gonna die.