Nice - A French luxury hotel owner who was brazenly snatched in a busy part of the Riviera resort of Nice two days ago was found safe and sound on Wednesday, police said.
Jacqueline Veyrac, the 76-year-old co-owner of the five-star Grand Hotel in Cannes, "freed herself", a source close to the investigation said.
Witnesses said Veyrac was getting into her SUV on Monday when abductors grabbed her and bundled her into a waiting van that sped off.
"She was found in the hills of western Nice," the source said, adding that Veyrac was in good health. "She freed herself and there was a neighbour who called."
Veyrac, whose husband died five years ago, co-owns the Grand Hotel with one of her sons and the pair also run a gourmet restaurant in Nice called La Reserve.
She was the victim of a kidnapping attempt three years ago whose motive was never discovered.
The seafront Grand Hotel, bought by the Veyrac family in 1963 and refurbished, is close to the Palais des Festivals where the Cannes Film Festival is held each May.