Charlestown man arrested in Boston woman’s disappearance breaks down in court

BOSTON (WHDH) - A Charlestown man accused of holding a 23-year-old woman against her will at his apartment for three days broke down in tears in court on Wednesday.

Victor Pena, 38, was arraigned in Charlestown District Court on a kidnapping charge stemming from the three-day disappearance of Olivia Ambrose, who was found in Pena’s apartment at the Bunker Hill housing complex on Tuesday following an extensive search conducted by Boston and transit police, Boston Police Commissioner William G. Gross said.

Pena, who met with a psychiatrist at the courthouse Wednesday morning, was ordered held without bail pending the completion of a 20-day mental health evaluation at Bridgewater State Hospital.

During his brief arraignment, Pena could be seen talking to himself with a distressed and pained look on his face as the psychiatrist told the court he had been “hearing voices” and suffering from a “history of alcohol and drug abuse.” The psychiatrist also said it was possible that Pena was embellishing his bizarre symptoms.

Victor Pena appears in Charlestown District Court

Ambrose, who is from Wenham and lives in Jamaica Plain, went missing after leaving Hennessy’s Bar on Union Street around 11 p.m. on Saturday.

Surveillance cameras along Congress Street showed two men approach Ambrose after she left the bar, one of whom was Pena, Gross said. He could allegedly be seen “physically guiding and holding onto” Ambrose before getting on a subway train with her.

“It’s obvious from the video surveillance that she did not go willingly,” Gross added.

Pena and Ambrose were later caught on surveillance video near the Bunker Hill Mall, which is not far from Pena’s apartment, according to Gross.

Boston and transit police scoured the neighborhood on Tuesday, searching buildings, parks, and dumpsters before closing in on Pena’s apartment.

When police finally found her, Ambrose was “crying with a horrified look on her face,” according to court documents.

Ambrose was taken to a nearby hospital for evaluation and has since been reunited with her family.

Her mother, Heather, says they are “beyond happy to have Liviy home.”

“She’s very strong, and she’s doing OK,” she said. “It’s going to be a process, but she’s OK. We’re just so happy to have her back. We know the outcome isn’t always like this.”

A not guilty plea was entered on Pena’s behalf. He is due back in court on Feb. 11.

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