A Vermont woman was able to escape in her kidnappers’ vehicle last week while her hands and part of her head were still bound by duct tape.
First responders arrived at Bay Street in St. Johnsbury around 11:30 p.m. Feb. 23 based on reports of a woman in a vehicle with her hands tied together and part of her head obscured by a bag taped to it, Vermont State Police said in a press release.
The unidentified woman was freed and taken to the hospital, where she told police she had been kidnapped earlier that day from the side of a road in Peacham by a man and woman in a truck.
According to WCAX, the victim had been living with the man, Mack Varnum, and a dispute allegedly began between the pair after the victim borrowed his truck to buy drugs.
The victim then allegedly walked away from the home, only to be forcibly picked up by Varnum and his female cohort, Nichole Cloutier.
During her hours-long ordeal, the woman was “forcibly restrained and bound” while the culprits drove around Peacham and nearby Danville with her, the press release said.
“At one point the victim was left alone in the truck, enabling her to break free enough to drive away in the truck and escape,” cops said.
Police subsequently arrested Varnum and Cloutier on Feb. 24 at Varnum’s Peacham residence.
Cloutier, 36, pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of kidnapping, unlawful restraint and aggravated assault, WCAX reported.
Varnum, 45, is set to be arraigned Tuesday on charges of attempted first-degree murder, kidnapping, unlawful restraint, and aggravated domestic assault.
As of Tuesday morning, both Varnum and Cloutier are being held without bail.