Surgeon tries to kidnap her son in Goleta, then escape to Montana

Theresa Colosi


An orthopedic surgeon attempted to kidnap her 12-year-old son during a supervised visit Sunday morning in Goleta, then escape to Montana aboard a private jet, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.

Theresa Colosi’s plans materialized partially. After bludgeoning a social worker in the head, Colosi flew without her son to Montana, where she was eventually caught and arrested.

Colosi, a 55-year-old surgeon who practices in the Bay Area and has ties to Lompoc, was having a supervised visit with her son at Zodo’s Bowling and Beyond in Goleta.

During the visit, Colosi started acting suspiciously while walking with her son. Colosi’s behavior caught the attention of the court-appointed observer.

Colosi then swung a metal object at the social worker. Colosi hit the social worker in the head several times.

At that point, the court-appointed observer instructed the boy to run into Zodo’s for help. Colosi began following her son, but then ran to her vehicle and fled the area.

Bystanders called 911. When deputies arrived, they found the victim in the parking lot with injuries to her head and face.

Detectives later determined Colosi had chartered a private jet that departed Lompoc Airport at about 10:48 a.m. The jet flew to Glacier International Airport in Montana.

Prior to the attempted kidnapping, Colosi gave away her belongings, withdrew $900,000 from her bank account and chartered the flight using fictitious names for herself, her son and her dog, according to the sheriff’s office.

Sheriff’s officials authored an arrest warrant and coordinated with law enforcement in Whitefish, Montana. Whitefish detectives conducted surveillance on Colosi’s suspected hideout location.

At about 5 a.m. on Wednesday, Whitefish detectives witnessed Colosi exit the hideout and get into a taxi. Detectives conducted a “high-risk” stop of the cab and arrested Colosi.

The surgeon is facing charges of attempted murder and attempted child kidnapping.