The Dateline episode ‘Kidnapped’ investigates the 2011 kidnapping of Heiko Lunsmann’s wife Gerfa and their only child, 14-year-old son Kevin. Two days after mother and son disappeared in the Philippines (Gerfa and Kevin were vacationing in Gerfa’s native country), Heiko Lunsmann of Lynchburg, Virginia received his first ransom telephone call from a man who went by the name “Mr. So”. Dateline describes Mr. So’s calls as “calm, business-like, as if he’s done it a hundred times before.” He demanded $10 million in exchange for Lunsmann’s family.
After being held for two-and-a-half months in a cage, Gerfa was freed. After an additional two-and-a-half months of being held captive, Lunsmann’s son was able to escape. In 2015, CNN Philippines reported that three of the Abu Sayyaf members (Patik Samson aka Mauck or Samuray, Meijing Jama aka Eyebag, and Jamil Ajilulu aka Robin) who abducted the Lunsmanns were sentenced to life imprisonment. Kevin Lunsmann, escorted by FBI agents, testified against the suspects in the Philippines. Dateline NBC airs Fridays at 10pm.