An Arkansas woman was ready to do her shopping Monday when she became the victim of an ambush — from someone hiding in her own car, authorities said Tuesday.
The Greene County Sheriff’s Office said the woman ran into her Center Hill-area home to grab her grocery shopping list around 11 a.m., and then went back to her SUV, KAIT reports.
She was planning to “go into town” for her shopping. But her abductor had made his way into her SUV and was lying in the backseat, the sheriff’s office wrote on Facebook.
Holding something against the back of the woman’s neck, the man forced her to drive to the country, deputies said — and he threatened to kill her if she didn’t follow his commands, KAIT reports.
Once the abductor and his victim reached the Scatter Creek area, the man sexually assaulted her, the sheriff’s office said. The woman wasn’t able to describe the man to investigators.
A nearby gun range aided in the woman’s escape, according to the sheriff’s office: Gunshots from the range led the man to abandon the woman in the woods, KAIT reports. That’s when the woman fled and called police, shortly after noon.
“At this time we would ask everyone to take special (precautions),” the sheriff’s office advised in its Facebook post Tuesday about the suspected assault and abduction. “Keep your vehicles locked and pay extra special attention to your surroundings when entering your vehicle at home or at places of business at this time.”
Investigators asked anyone with tips to reach out to the Greene County Sheriff’s Office.
Greene County authorities said they searched into the night on Monday for clues and for a suspect, and then picked up the manhunt again on Tuesday.
Evidence from the crime was also prepared Monday night for analysis by the state’s crime lab, deputies said.
The sheriff’s office’s post about the incident had been shared more than 3,000 times on Facebook by Tuesday afternoon.