Nearly eight years ago a man who had successfully brought home more than 100 kidnapping victims, didn't make it home from his own abduction.
Veteran and kidnapping expert Felix Batista was abducted outside a restaurant after a friend called him for help. It turned out to be a trap and Batista was taken.
“When I was told, I was in disbelief,” his wife, Lourdes Batista, recalled to InsideEdition.com.
His body has never been found and no ransom note was ever received. No criminal organization ever took responsibility for the high-profile abduction.
“He is an officer and a gentleman. He is a wonderful man,” the heartbroken wife said. “I’m supposed to say ‘was,’ but I’m going to talk in the present. That’s been one of our problems, that we’ve had no closure. We never got to say goodbye. Not having closure makes it really painful.”
His family claims the government did not try hard enough to find him. They believe he became a target because of his line of work.
“There were some very hard cases and he was away a lot. He would travel; he would go away for three months at a time. He would bond with these families,” Lourdes said. “When he’d finally get home, he’d tell me — and his eyes would well up — ‘I am going through withdrawal, I miss the families.’ I still get letters from some of the families.
“He had a beautiful soul and he wanted to do good in the world,” she continued. “His idol was Don Quixote, and he did live that kind of life, always. Even to the end, I know for a fact that he went out there so that man could be saved. Felix went out there because he knew that they were going to kill Pilar if he didn’t show up. And he couldn’t live knowing that somebody would be killed if he didn’t show up.”
Now, his wife and children, who are grown, simply want closure.
In the meantime they have erected a bench in his honor by the family mausoleum.
“It says ‘In Loving Memory of Felix Batista,’” Lourdes shared. “I wanted to put ‘In Loving Memory of Man of La Mancha’ — In Loving Memory of Don Quixote. Because that’s what he did. He went out there to rescue people.”
This story first appeared at Womanista.