RICHMOND, VA (WTVR) – On Monday night, the Indian community gathered at the BAPS Swaminarayan Temple off Jefferson Davis Highway, to hold a prayer vigil for the Paresh Patel.
Amul Desai said he noticed Patel’s absence at the temple on Sunday, a place he frequents. Desai said he doesn’t understand why a man so firm in his faith and active in his friends and family’s lives would be wanted by criminals.
Desai said he'll never know for sure unless his friend is returned, which is why he's asking for your help as well. “Just want to request to all of the Metro Richmond community to join to pray for him for the safe return,” said Desai.
According to Chesterfield Police, Patel was abducted while opening up his gas station Sunday morning.
"I was really shocked because I knew this guy very well," Shashi Zota said. "This is the God's person, this is the most holy person I knew.”
Zota owns many convenience stores and gas stations in town. He said the incident is has raised concern with many who work at the stores."There is a lot of concern out there - we open our doors at 5 a.m.”.
According to Chesterfield Police, the FBI is assisting in the case.
Security expert Steve Neal said that the FBI’s involvement is unusual.
"The FBI typically is not going to be involved in a case unless there is movement across state lines or another situation," Neal said.
Patel’s family has asked for privacy at this time.
Patel is 5’4”, 136 pounds, 44-years old, with black hair and brown eyes.
He is of Asian and Indian decent.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Chesterfield County Police at 804-748-1251.