Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Police: Inconsistencies Cloud Hotel Probe Guest of Reds Pitcher Questioned for Hours in Suspicious Robbery

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Police: Inconsistencies Cloud Hotel Probe Guest of Reds Pitcher Questioned for Hours in Suspicious Robbery

Article excerpt

Pittsburgh detectives questioned a woman for nearly 12 hours about a bizarre robbery in the Downtown hotel room of a Cincinnati Reds pitcher, in part because she changed her story.

Claudia Manrique, 26, of Silver Spring, Md., initially said she was attacked late Tuesday by a stranger posing as a maintenance man at the Omni William Penn who tied her up and made off with valuables belonging to pitcher Aroldis Chapman.

But as interviews with detectives wore on, she told them she had encountered her assailant earlier at a CVS pharmacy, where he stole her wallet and threatened to harm her friend if she did not tell him in which room she and the Cuban ballplayer were staying, according to police reports.

The reports indicate that detectives are skeptical of Ms. Manrique's account, but police had filed no charges in the case as of Thursday night.

Mr. Chapman told police he began dating the Colombian native in April, and she would meet him in other cities where the Reds were playing.

He was at PNC Park when the robbery occurred. He later told detectives that Ms. Manrique had been receiving unwanted phone calls throughout her stay in Pittsburgh. He believed they were from a man in Maryland to whom she owed $9,000 on a $30,000 debt that allowed her to gain entry into the country, police reports say.

One thing not taken was a Louis Vuitton bag containing more than $200,000 worth of Mr. Chapman's jewelry. Ms. Manrique said her attacker held her at gunpoint and demanded the bag of jewelry several times, ransacking the room when she refused to relinquish it. But, police reports note, she could not explain how the man knew the bag of jewelry was in the room in the first place.

When detectives confronted her about discrepancies in her story, she began to cry. A polygraph test showed she was not being truthful about the robbery, according to the report.

Ms. Manrique eventually changed her story, saying the robber first approached her at a CVS pharmacy and threatened to harm her friend in Silver Spring if she did not give him her room number. …

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