CALEDONIA TWP., Mich. — A Michigan man has been charged after allegedly kidnapping a woman he had met on Craigslist.
WWJ reports that Michigan state troopers pulled a man over on suspicion of drunk driving Wednesday morning when they saw his vehicle swerving.
When they approached the vehicle, authorities said they heard another voice calling for help.
Michigan State Police Lt. David Kaiser told WWJ they then found a 22-year-old woman in the backseat with her hands tied, a bag over her head and tape over her mouth.
Kaiser told the station the man had lured the woman through a phony online profile on Craigslist.
“The young lady answered the ad on Craigslist. She chatted with the person online and agreed to meet him,” Kaiser told WWJ.
He said the woman had met the man at a remote location. Once she had gotten in his car, the woman noticed the man looked nothing like his online profile, and that “the conversation wasn’t anything like it was online.”
The lieutenant told WWJ after the woman tried to end the date, she was kidnapped.
“She was assaulted, she was choked, her arms were zip-tied, duct tape was placed over her mouth, a bag was placed over her head and she was thrown in the back seat of the car,” he said.
She continuously fought the man, however. After she was bound in the back seat, she began kicking him, causing him to swerve. It was then troopers suspected the driver was drunk, pulling him over.
“What we learned after this, is the lady is actually very fortunate she wasn’t further assaulted or killed,” Kaiser told WWJ. “The man used a fictitious photo, he used a fictitious name and he had a throw-away email account which would make it very difficult for an investigator, had something happened to her, to locate this person.”
Kaiser told WWJ it’s a lesson to anyone: Should they meet someone online, he’d advise their face-to-face meeting to be in a safe, public place.
“If a person doesn’t want to meet you in a public place, that should be your first red flag that nothing good is going to come of this,” he told the station.
Michigan Live later reported the man’s identity as 41-year-old Daniel Symons. He was reportedly charged with kidnapping and assault by strangulation.