SANTA CLARITA ( —  A kidnapped missionary told his friends and fellow parishioners Sunday that he was grateful to be alive.

Kyle Bauer’s friends and family are also glad he is home safe and sound.

Days after being taken prisoner in Puerto Vallarta, he sat down to tell CBS2’s Kara Finnstrom about his capture and release.

“They said they were watching my house and my family and said ‘You need to do exactly as we say,'” said Bauer.

The missionary complied. He believed his wife and four young children were also in danger.

“They said if we didn’t pay the ransom, they were going to start torturing him,” said Bauer’s wife Teresa.

It is a a policy of the Foursquare Church to not pay ransom demands. Teresa knew this and immediately got in touch with US and Mexican authorities.

Meanwhile, Kyle said he tried to administer to his captors.

When left alone — with a warning he was being monitored — Bauer says he took a chance and put batteries back into his cell phone.

He looked at his Email and saw that the church had sent out a prayer for him. He immediately responded with his location.

For safety reason, he isn’t sharing how the abduction ended after 20 hours. But he does say the captors were not caught.

He also said he was grateful that he was not physically harmed.

“When police put me on the phone with [my wife], I could hear her and the kids in the background…” Bauer says, choking up.  Teresa adds, “We were jumping and screaming.”

Bauer said he will be meeting with church leaders this week to discuss his frightening ordeal.

The church said they will be taking a closer look at security for all their missionaries and say their work in Mexico will continue.


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