Alleged kidnapping victim runs naked into store

Martin Jonassen, 55, of Kansas, is charged with criminal confinement and battery. (Portage, Indiana, Police Department)
September 13, 2011 3:08:13 PM PDT
Indiana police have charged a Kansas man with criminal confinement and battery after his daughter ran to a Portage liquor store for help.

The 21-year-old victim was being held against her will at Dollar Inn, a motel along Highway 20 in Portage, Ind., when she escaped, police said, and ran to a liquor store for help. She was not wearing any clothes.

Employees called police and Martin Jonassen, 55, of Elwood, Kansas, was arrested as he tried to pull his daughter out of the store, officials said. His daughter is from Missouri.

Jonassen is being held at the Porter County Jail and is likely to face federal kidnapping charges. Police say he and his daughter were headed to Michigan and had stopped in Portage to rest when she found her chance to escape.

In surveillance video, the alleged victim is seen running naked across a parking lot to a liquor store, The Liquor Center. Inside, the 21-year-old woman is met by clerk Sandy Farley.

"She was scared to death. You could tell that. She was shaking," said Farley. "There's like a twine rope around each ankle, like I don't know if she had pulled loose from something being tied up."

Seconds later, a half-dressed man who police say is her father rushes into the store. There's a struggle as she tries to break free.

"She was holding on like this, and he's pulling at her. Her feet are up off the ground because he's got her around the waist," said Farley.

"I'm freaking out. A naked lady come in the liquor store, begging for her life. We didn't know if the guy had a gun or anything," said Brandon Hatch, manager, The Liquor Center.

Eventually the man puts his daughter in a headlock and drags her to his car. But as he attempts to leave, a Portage police officer pulls up and blocks his exit. When he tries to drive around the squad car, he's blocked again and then the officer orders him out of his vehicle and handcuffs him.

"She was very frantic. You could tell whatever had happened, she didn't want it to happen again because she did not want to go," said Farley.

Investigators say on Saturday Jonassen abducted his daughter from her home northeast of Kansas City.

"She'd attempted to get out of the car at several different intersections or other places, and he would grab her and physically restrain her," said Det. Janis Regnier, Portage Police Department.

Police say father and daughter were headed to his home in Michigan but stopped at a motel in Portage, yards from the liquor store.

"He apparently left the room for a moment while she was taking a shower or supposed to be taking a shower, and then instead of taking a shower, she ran from the room," said Regnier.

Police say the motive for the alleged kidnapping is under investigation. The 21-year-old alleged victim was treated at a hospital and released.

Police say Jonassen is expected to be turned over to the FBI after being arraigned on the Indiana charges.


Load Comments