June 24, 2011
An Albemarle County woman was reportedly abducted at gunpoint and forced to drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway to the Boone Fork parking area in North Carolina, 300 miles away.
Police searched the Blue Ridge Parkway outside Blowing Rock, N.C. Thursday evening after the 42-year-old woman, whose name is being withheld at this time, reported she had escaped her male kidnapper while they were walking in the woods.
Albemarle County police say the Watauga Sheriff's Office and the National Park Police found the Buck Island Road resident unresponsive near her Honda minivan.
"About 6:30 [Thursday] night a couple of visitors called in and said they had found a woman right near the Boone Fork Trail head near Grandfather Mountain up on the Blue Ridge Parkway," Assistant Chief Ranger Lena B. Koschmann said in a phone interview with CBS19.
Chief Ranger Steve Stinnett told the Watauga Democrat she was taken to the Watauga Medical Center for treatment. She was later picked up there by her husband, who had reported her missing to Albemarle County police Thursday morning.
Chief Eric Brown of the Blowing Rock Police Department told CBS19 the alleged suspect is described as being a short man with a thin build, in his late 20s to early 30s with no facial hair, sunglasses, dark clothing, gloves and black boots.
Investigators, however, are skeptical as to the circumstances surrounding the incident. "We're not sure how valid this claim is. We're investigating," Stinnett said.
The stolen Honda minivan was reportedly located Friday morning in the Cold Prong Pond Overlook.
The FBI has joined in the investigation. Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call Albemarle County Police at 434-296-5807 or Crime Stoppers at 434-977-4000.