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Bryan County Sheriff's Office probing kidnapping claim
Victims waited to file report, fearing threats made by suspects

Two women who claim they were abducted in Ellabell Tuesday night filed sheriff’s reports after posting about the ordeal on social media.

According to reports from the Bryan County Sheriff’s Office, the two victims hesitated to report the kidnapping because the suspects threatened to kill them and their families, reports stated.

Neither Bryan County Sheriff Clyde Smith nor Lt. Michael Fordham, who is leading the investigation, were available for comment Friday, but Smith directed a sheriff’s office employee to tell a reporter the case was still under investigation.

Reports listed the incident as involving several crimes, including kidnapping, battery, aggravated assault with a gun, and terroristic threats.

The women said they were driving a pickup truck around 11 p.m. Tuesday when they noticed they were being followed by a white panel van with no windows. Frightened, they turned down Frank Hendry Road bear Piggly Wiggly in Bryan County near Ellabell, trying to escape the van, reports stated.

They said the van suddenly passed them and blocked their truck, with two black men wearing all black and ski masks jumping out. One man was muscular and the other was slim, with a gun, the victims said.

The thin gunman got into the women’s truck and put the gun to the driver’s head, ordering her to drive, according to reports. The other man got back into the van and followed.

The victims told deputies they drove for a long time and ended up on a remote dirt road, possibly at an unknown location in Brooklet, reports said.

The men then allegedly forced the women out of the truck, making one remove her shirt and tying the second to the truck bumper with a cell phone auxiliary cord, When one victim screamed, one of the suspects burned her on the chest several times with a cigarette. Both men yelled at the women and threatened to kill them and their families if they called police, According to incident reports. The men told the victims they “knew who their families were,” they said.

The victims told investigators the men then left, and the woman who was tied up broke free, checking on the other. They found one of the women’s cell phone after it rang, lighting up, when her boyfriend called, they said.

Other than cigarette burns, no injuries were mentioned in reports.

Instead of calling law enforcement, the two women, afraid because of the suspects’ threats, called the boyfriend and waited until he arrived before they went home, reports stated.

However, they posted comments about their alleged ordeal on Facebook, and the messages were shared several times with others, according to reports. Then, the victims decided to contact deputies.

No arrests have been made, and reports did not indicate whether any suspects were identified. As the investigation continues, further details will be reported as they are released by the Bryan County Sheriff’s Office.

Anyone with information on the case may contact Fordham at 912-653-3867.

Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.


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