MSU student jumps from moving car to escape kidnapper

March 26, 2009

Tim Pratt -


STARKVILLE - A Mississippi State University student was kidnapped Wednesday night from outside her apartment building, but escaped her assailant by jumping from a moving car. 


Starkville police say a 19-year-old female had just arrived home at the Lakeside Place apartment complex at about 10:30 p.m. and was walking toward her building when a man approached her with a gun and demanded money. After the victim showed the suspect she had no money in her purse, the suspect forced the student back into the driver''s seat of her car, then held her at gunpoint while he got in with her, according to a SPD news release. 


The victim then drove out of the apartment complex and headed west on Old Highway 12 for a short distance before she jumped from the moving car and ended up in a roadside ditch, SPD Lt. Maurice Johnson said Thursday afternoon. Johnson had no estimates on the speed she was traveling, but said the car "was not moving that fast." 


"She was pretty much able to get out of the vehicle without getting injured," Johnson said. 


The victim then flagged down a passing motorist for help and called police. 


The student''s vehicle, meanwhile, had crashed into a nearby ditch and the kidnapper fled, police said. He is still on the loose. 


Police describe the suspect as a black male in his 20s, about 5-feet 6-inches, with a stocky build and a goatee. He was wearing a camouflage jacket under a black jacket with a hood, dark pants and dark shoes. 


Anyone with information is asked to call the Starkville Police Department at 662-323-4131, or Crime Stoppers at 800-530-7151. 


"We''re still investigating and tracking down all the leads we receive, but it''s still early in the investigation," Johnson said.