REYNOLDSBURG (WCMH) — A woman and boy were kidnapped, driven hundreds of miles, and ended up in Central Ohio. That is where police were able to rescue them, thanks to quick actions of a Good Samaritan.
Reynoldsburg police Lt. Bill Early said Michael McKinney allegedly kidnapped the two, driving them from North Carolina through Cleveland then Western Columbus and ending up in Reynoldsburg where the victim and the Good Samaritan, Tia Withers, were both able to call 911.
Withers told NBC4 she and her children were sitting in her truck at the Walmart on the 2700 block of Taylor Road, when she said the female victim whispered to her, “Help me, we have been kidnapped.”
Lt. Early said McKinney allegedly tried to force them to get money from Western Union. Police said there is not one at that location.
Withers said she overheard the man tell the two victims if they did not get back in the car, he was going to kill them.
The victim was able to dial 911, but was not able to speak.
The 911 dispatcher reported to police, “We have an open 911 call going on we couldn’t get any information. In the Taylor Square Shopping Center, a guy keeps talking about a Western Union.”
Withers also called 911.
“Two people have been kidnapped. They are sitting there in a car, I am blocking them off,” Withers said. She said McKinney acted like he was going to ram her, so she moved her vehicle.
She told police he sped off.
“Oh my God, oh my God,” she could be heard crying into the phone.
Withers said she stayed on his tail, giving police turn-by-turn directions of his escape attempt.
“He kidnapped this woman and boy, I’m trying to follow him, and he is by Walgreens now,” she said.
Police units swarmed the area.
“Please somebody help?” Withers pleaded to the dispatcher.
“We are getting them, we are trying to get them.”
Withers said she followed McKinney’s vehicle down Taylor Road and up State Route 256, where police were able to corner the vehicle in front of the Tim Horton’s.
“Oh my God, he got out of the car, and he just threw something in the grass,” Withers said.
Police said although the drugs are still be tested, they suspect that it is Methamphetamines. Although the investigation is ongoing, Lt. Early said McKinney may have been armed with a knife.
“He just threw something in a bush. Oh I am so thankful for you guys. Oh thank you guys!” Withers could be heard telling police and the dispatcher.
Both victims were rescued unharmed. McKinney is charged with kidnapping, extortion and drug possession and is being arraigned at the Fairfield County Municipal Court and being held in jail.