(INSIDE EDITION) - For Lourdes Batista, there is no talking about her husband Felix in the past tense.
“He is an officer and a gentleman. He is a wonderful man,” she told InsideEdition.com. “I’m supposed to say ‘was,’ but I’m going to talk in the present. That’s been one of our problems, that we’ve had no closure. We never got to say goodbye. Not having closure makes it really painful.”
Lourdes has been living with that pain for nearly eight years, when her husband, a renowned expert on anti-abduction, was abducted himself in Mexico.
Eight years later, Lourdes has been paying tribute to the man she calls her soul mate, maintaining that he is not forgotten while holding out hope that she and her loved ones will get answers that so far, no one has been either able or willing to provide.
Felix Batista had traveled to Saltillo, the capital and largest city of the northeastern Mexican state of Coahuila on business when he learned that his friend and colleague Pilar Valdez, the longtime director of security for the Saltillo Industrial Group, had been abducted.
An expert on negotiating kidnappings, Felix was tapped in December 2008 to help secure Valdez's successful return.
"I get a call from Felix. I can tell he’s busy. I call him back and he tells me, ‘honey, I’m really busy; I think there’s a kidnapping taking place. I’ll call you back.’ That was the last time I spoke with him,” Lourdes said.
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Then on December 10, Valdez called Felix as he dined at one of the town’s best restaurants, El Mesón Principal del Norte, saying that he was safe and free but that the local police needed to speak with him.
Lourdes is sure her husband knew this was a sign something was wrong.
“I know my husband; he was no fool,” she said. “Felix would’ve thought this is very odd, something is going on, I know that.”
After a few more calls from Valdez, who insisted he meet them outside, Felix left all of his belongings inside the restaurant and went out to wait.
“Batista knew that something was not right here,” FBI Special Agent Alexandra Montilla told InsideEdition.com. “He left an emergency contact with the restaurant, with the people he was with, saying, ‘if anything happens to me, please call this number.’ He felt he had to do it. I feel he felt obligated to do something.”
Surveillance footage reportedly shows Felix waiting for nearly a half an hour before a white van pulls up and a man in uniform approaches.
“He kind of greets Felix in a friendly way,” Lourdes said. “What we [probably] don’t see is the pistol and what have you. Pilar is in the van, he’s hurt ... They gave Pilar some money and he is dropped off by the road. And Felix is gone.”