By Marissa Perlman

MODESTO (CBS13) – Yazmin Cruz tells CBS13 she has to be strong, for her family, who she says will stop at nothing to bring her cousin Susana Torres home.

“We’re trying our best, we’re doing our best to get her back. We’re never going to stop until we find her,” she said.

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Detectives with the Stanislaus County Sheriffs Office believe Javier Chavez, 41, abducted Torres and her two kids at gunpoint outside of a Butte street market on Sunday.

Chavez dropped off both kids, ages 8 and 2, at his parents’ house later that night.

The oldest son, Kevin, told his grandmother what happened.

Torres didn’t show up at home the next morning, and the family says that’s when his mom showed up to deliver the bad news.

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“By 9 a.m., his mom was at our house saying, ‘I’m worried they’re not answering their phones and Kevin said he had a gun,’ ” Cruz said.

Detectives think Chavez fled to Mexico and had already crossed the border by the time they learned of the kidnapping, but don’t believe Torres was in the car.

The sheriff’s office says when you have a suspect that’s crossed the border, that makes this a much tougher job.

Even before this, Chavez was already on law enforcement’s radar. Detectives say he has a history of domestic violence and is wanted by Modesto police for rape.

For Cruz, she has a message for her cousin’s alleged kidnaper: “I just hope you pay for what you’ve done and there’s no way you can escape. One day you’re going to get your justice.”

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Detectives say Torres had also filed a restraining order which went into effect the night before she disappeared. An arrest warrant is now issued for Chavez.

Marissa Perlman