(Daily Mail By MEGHAN KENEALLY) – A Florida family endured three days of torture and fear as they were held hostage by a group of criminals demanding thousands of dollars in cash.
Today the father testified against one of his abductors, telling how they terrorized the family and played Russian roulette with their five-year-old son.
The scarring details came out as Victor Manuel Sanchez, the first of the four assailants, is on trial for numerous felony charges including attempted murder, home-invasion robbery, and kidnapping.
Sanchez and his three partners were arrested after they had held the Morais family hostage in their Winter Garden, Florida home for three days in November 2009.
The saga began when the group of three men and the female Bolivian ringleader- who remains at large and is thought to have fled the country- knocked on the Morais’ home demanding that Rubens Morais, 48, give them money in order to ‘save his family’.
He complied and gave them $30,000 from the family safe.
That did not satisfy them, and they forced Mr Morais’ wife Marcela Borges, 27, to withdraw $23,600 from an ATM.
Even after they had the money that they wanted, the captors were not finished with their mental torture.
The captors played Russian roulette with the couple’s 5-year-old son Ryan, repeatedly pulling the trigger while pressing the gun up against the young boys head.
‘I was absolutely sure that after I paid them, they would kill me,’ Mr Morais said in Portuguese while testifying.
The horrifying episode did not end until Ms Borges escaped after climbing out of a second-floor window.
As she raced to a neighbour’s house, one of the captors shot her in the back, and the bullet went right through her and hit her wrist on the way out.
Even after all of that, she still managed to get to the nearby house and call for help. The captors fled when she escaped, but three of the four involved were later captured by police.
The investigation that followed established that it was not a random attack, but that the attackers likely followed the family for a period of time before the attack in order to learn more about them and their habits.