Police are searching a forest in northern Colombia for the father of footballer Luis Diaz who was kidnapped on the weekend.
Luis Manuel Díaz and his wife were at a petrol station in the small town of Barrancas on Saturday when they were abducted by armed men on motorcycles.
The Liverpool star’s mother, Cilenis Marulanda, was rescued within hours by police after they set up roadblocks around the town near Colombia’s border with Venezuela.
However, his father remains missing.
Air and land patrols as well as members of the country’s special forces have been searching a mountain range that straddles both countries and is covered by cloud forest.
Police have also offered a $48,0000 (£39,000) reward for information leading to the rescue of Diaz’s father.
Officials said they did not rule out the possibility that he could have been smuggled into Venezuela, where he would be beyond the reach of Colombian police.
Díaz is one of the most talented players on Colombia’s national team and joined Liverpool last year in a deal worth £55m.
The 26-year-old striker was absent from Liverpool’s match against Nottingham Forest on Sunday.
His team-mates expressed their solidarity with the Colombian by holding up one of his jerseys on the pitch after scoring the team’s first goal in their 3-0 victory.
The abduction of Díaz’s parents comes as kidnappings for ransom and extortion of businesses increase in Colombia despite efforts by the nation’s first left-wing government to broker ceasefires with rebel groups.
Criminals and rebel groups in the country have long kidnapped civilians for ransom in order to finance their operations.
So far, none of the armed groups operating in Colombia has claimed responsibility for kidnapping Diaz’s parents.
Written by: Newsroom