Local team crossed paths with Orange County woman hours before Uganda kidnapping

ESCONDIDO, Calif. -- A conservation team from Escondido says they crossed paths with the Orange County woman who was kidnapped while on safari in Uganda.

Kimberly Sue Endicott was identified by friends as the Costa Mesa woman who was taken prisoner by four men wearing military uniforms and reportedly armed with assault rifles while visiting Queen Elizabeth National Park. African authorities reported the kidnappers used Endicott’s personal cell phone to demand a ransom of $500,000.

Two members of ECOLIFE Conservation in Escondido had just spent a few hours getting to know Endicott and her driver and were just leaving the park as the kidnappers were entering.

"They had had a conversation with the woman and her driver who were kidnapped just hours before the incident happened," Anne Middleton said of her coworkers.

Ugandan has been known for its stability and safety, but now, tourists are being guarded by military escorts while on safari.

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