Jayne Valseca seemed to have everything she ever wanted: a loving husband, a beautiful family, and a peaceful life in a small town. However, in June 2007, her life changed forever after her husband, Eduardo Valseca, was kidnapped. NBC News’ ‘Dateline: The Ranch’ chronicles everything that Jayne went through to bring Eduardo back home safely while also taking care of her children and negotiating with the kidnappers. So, if you’re curious about what happened to Jayne, we’ve got you covered.
Who Was Jayne Valseca?
Born on September 5, 1966, Jayne Valseca (nee Rager) grew up in Silver Spring in Maryland, near Washington DC. After high school, she attended the University of Maryland before turning her attention to acting. While following her passion, Jayne spent time in New York and Los Angeles, California. She had some success, appearing in several commercials and landing minor roles in soap operas and movies, such as ‘Loving’ and ‘Stella.’ Jayne met Eduardo in 1992 in the parking lot of a supermarket in Maryland.
At the time, Jayne was working in real estate while Eduardo was an art dealer and investor. They began dating and soon fell in love. After marrying on July 9, 1994, Eduardo and Jayne moved to the ranch in San Miguel de Allende. The couple then welcomed three children: Fernando, Emiliano, and Nayah. Jayne put her efforts into starting a cactus farm, and she also founded a Waldorf school along with her husband; it was where their kids studied.
On the morning of June 13, 2007, Eduardo and Jayne dropped the kids off at school. As they pulled out of the parking lot, Jayne noticed a car following them, and in no time, a pickup truck appeared. These two cars boxed them in, and men in masks attacked the couple, first Eduardo and then Jayne. They put the pair in an SUV and began driving away. Sometime later, Jayne realized that Eduardo was being whisked away to another car. While their heads were covered with pillowcases, she got a glimpse of the license plate of the vehicle that was leaving with her husband.
At this point, Jayne was left alone, still bound. An older man helped her, but nobody else stopped their vehicle. So, Jayne said she jumped in front of a bus, desperate to call the authorities. Since no one on the bus had a phone, she asked a cab for help to inform the police. Jayne later found a note from the kidnappers by the car she was left in. It asked her to use an email ID for incoming communication and wait for further instructions.
After about five days of waiting, she received an email that instructed her to communicate only through ads in a newspaper and asked for $8 million in ransom for Eduardo’s freedom. But Jayne knew she didn’t have anything close to that much money. Initially, the kidnappers didn’t relent when she told them about her financial state. They sent her photos of Eduardo and letters written by him. Some of them even accused her of leaving him to die, but Jayne believed her husband was forced to write those.
Jayne sold some of their properties, animals, and machinery but could only muster $20,000. About three months into the ordeal, the authorities told her that the group that kidnapped Eduardo was known to keep the victims for a long time. She then decided to bring back some semblance of normalcy in her life by having a routine and doing things she used to before the kidnapping. Jayne hardly ate during the initial days after the abduction, surviving on tea, orange juice, and chicken broth.
Eventually, Jayne received some substantial money from two people who only requested anonymity. The kidnappers struck a deal reported to have been less than $1 million. After following all the instructions for the money drop, Eduardo returned home in late January 2008, more than seven months after the abduction. The first thing he asked for was Jayne’s special banana pancakes.
How Did Jayne Valseca Die?
While the kidnappers had taken one of the men who carried the money to the drop site, he was released a couple of months later without any ransom. The family eventually moved to the suburbs in Maryland. Later on, Jayne revealed that throughout the kidnapping ordeal, she had been dealing with a crisis of her own; she was in remission from stage 4 inflammatory breast cancer. Sadly, just two weeks after Eduardo returned home, Jayne learned that cancer had come back, and this time, it was terminal.
With the support of her loved ones, Jayne went through her treatments and even advocated for kidnap victims in Mexico by appearing on TV and protesting in front of the White House. She even co-wrote a book about her experiences. But Jayne died on May 3, 2012, at her home in Potomac, Maryland, due to complications from breast cancer. She was 45-years-old at the time. At the time, Eduardo believed that the cancer was aggravated because she was stressed during the kidnapping.
Read More: Where Are Fernando and Nayah Valseca Now?