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Investigator: Man claims he was hired to kill woman he kidnapped Monday in Portal
Stephen Dwayne Churchill - photo by Special
    A man told investigators he was hired to kill a woman he kidnapped Monday in the Portal area, said Bulloch County Sheriff's Chief Investigator Capt. Todd Hutchens.
    Stephen Dwayne Churchill, 31, U.S. 80 West, Portal, named a man he said hired him to kill a Rocky Ford Road woman, he said. However, after investigators questioned the man Churchill named, they did not have enough evidence to hold or charge him.
    The case remains under investigation, however, Hutchens said.
    Churchill was waiting for the woman at her Rocky Ford Road home around 2:30 p.m. Monday, he said.
    Churchill is an " acquaintance" of the woman and her estranged husband, and  had worked with the victim's husband, he said.
    Hutchens said Churchill covered the victim's face with a towel and forced her outside and into her own car. Then, he drove the woman to a location near the Bulloch/Jenkins County line, stopped and made her get into the car's trunk.
    "He told her to stay there," he said. The woman did so for a short period of time, then, after belivig Churchill had left, pushed her way out of the trunk through  the car's back seat and drove herself home , where she called law enforcement.
    When deputies located and arrested Churchill, he gave the reason for his actions, Hutchens said. "He said he was hired to kill her." He did not disclose whether Churchill gave a reason why he did not follow through with his alleged plan to do so.
    However, it's Churchill's word against the man he named, whose identity law enforcement won't reveal since he has not been charged with the crime. "We can't prove that it's true," Hutchens said.
    The woman was not injured, although Churchill had a knife during the kidnapping, according to reports.
    Churchill took a bank envelope containing $1,500 from  the victim's purse before leaving her in the car trunk, Hutchens said.
    Churchill is being held without bond at the Bulloch County Jail, charged with armed robbery, aggravated assault, kidnapping, terroristic threats, burglary, theft by taking motor vehicle, possession of a knife during the commission of a crime, and false imprisonment, according to jail records.
    The case remains under investigation by Cpl. Dustin Williams and Investigator Jason Long. Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call Long at  (912) 764-8888. All calls will be kept confidential, Hutchens said.
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