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Associated Press, Published December 05 2012

UPDATED: Idaho kidnapping suspect arrested in ND

BISMARCK — Police in Bismarck arrested an Idaho kidnapping suspect after the man allegedly pulled a gun on a truck driver and then fled to a nearby trailer park.

Mitchell Lee Walck, 57, was arrested shortly after noon Wednesday, Police Sgt. Mark Buschena said. The truck driver reported he returned to his truck at a truck stop and found Walck inside. Walck threatened the man with a gun and then ran to a nearby mobile home park, police said.

Officers found Walck hiding under a tree. He had a 9 mm gun in his waistband, police said in a statement.

Regional law enforcement officers had been searching for Walck after a 62-year-old Rathdrum, Idaho, woman reported she was kidnapped from her home at gunpoint on Saturday and driven to Glendive, Mont., where she was released unharmed Sunday.

The man took the woman's car and took two rifles from her house, the Kootenai County sheriff's office said. The car was recovered near where Walck was arrested, Bismarck police said.

Officers in Rathdrum, Idaho, believe the kidnapper is the same man who shot at an Idaho State Police trooper who tried to make a traffic stop late Friday. The man fled and apparently hid in the woman's house for a time before forcing her into her car.

The trooper was not injured.

The Kootenai County sheriff's office said the kidnapping victim, Susan Smith, has returned to the Rathdrum area and has been interviewed, but officers did not release any information about her statement. The sheriff's office had a $1 million warrant for Walck's arrest on a kidnapping charge while the FBI was offering a reward of up to $20,000 for information leading to his arrest and conviction.

In addition to the Idaho warrant, Walck was arrested for unlawful entry to a motor vehicle, terrorizing and felon in possession of a firearm. The FBI was questioning him after which he was to be taken to the Burleigh County Detention Center.

The kidnapped woman was dropped off outside a grocery store in eastern Montana calmly asked an employee if she could use a telephone.

Cindy Ceynar told the Glendive Ranger-Review that she gave Susan Smith her cellphone Sunday evening, but had no idea about the ordeal the woman had been through until she called a family member and said: “I've been abducted and I need you to call the FBI.”

Ceynar said Smith told her she had been driven into North Dakota and back into Montana before being dropped off.

She said her abductor told her it would be in her “best interests” to give him 45 minutes before calling the FBI.

The suspected kidnapper, Mitchell Walck, was arrested in Bismarck on Wednesday.

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Information from: Glendive Ranger-Review, http://www.rangerreview.com


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