A woman cleverly escaped her kidnapper at the Sunset Point rest stop on Saturday, according to a press release from the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office.
The release stated that 26-year-old Cody Smith was arrested at the Sunset Point Rest Stop on Saturday after sheriff’s office deputies were called about a shoplifter at a convenience store in the Humboldt area off Highway 69 the previous day and could not find him.
Deputies learned that Smith had allegedly kidnapped and carjacked a 42-year-old woman in the Cordes Junction area before arresting him, according to the release. However, they were only able to book Smith on shoplifting charges because they could not find the victim. Smith was released temporarily.
Deputies found the victim on Saturday evening. According to the victim, she was driving south on Interstate 17 from Prescott to Phoenix when a man jumped in front of her car. The victim swerved and pulled over.
Worried she may have hit the man, the victim called 911 but the man, identified by the victim and police as Smith, grabbed the phone from her and jumped in her car, demanding she drive him to California. Fearing she would be harmed, the victim complied.
As the car approached the Sunset Point rest stop, the victim faked needing to use the restroom and Smith let her stop. After the victim used the restroom, Smith walked toward the driver’s side of the car. The victim requested that Smith did not drive.
While Smith walked toward the passenger seat, the victim jumped in the car and drove away, the release states.
After speaking with the victim, deputies tracked down Smith to his house in Dewey, arresting him once they found him hiding in a shed.
Smith was booked into the Camp Verde Detention Center on charges of kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment, disorderly conduct, threatening, endangerment, intentionally preventing the use of a telephone in an emergency, recklessly interfering with the passage of a highway, causing a condition that endangered the safety of others and placing an individual in fear of physical injury.
He was in custody on a $25,000 bond as of Monday, the release said.
Click here to read the full press release