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Carjacked women organize their own rescue

Barefoot kidnapper was trying to get to Manhattan for court date, sheriff says

Staff writer

Two Montgomery County women weren’t injured July 5 after a bizarre kidnapping that began near Neodesha and ended at Florence with an arrest.

The incident stemmed from a woman wanting to get to Manhattan for a court date and holding the women by knifepoint while they drove across the state.

It all began when Martha Forrester was walking at 8:30 a.m. along U.S. 400 near Neodesha and a 56-year-old woman and her 36-year-old daughter offered Forrester a ride.

Forrester was barefoot and in distress, said Butler County Sheriff Kelly Herzet. The women agreed to take Forrester to El Dorado.

The ride continued without incident for 87 miles. When they reached El Dorado at 10:37 a.m., Forrester pulled out a small knife and told the two women to take her to Manhattan, Herzet said.

Forrester told the two women she was having domestic and legal problems and she needed to get to Manhattan for a court commitment.

Herzet said Forrester suffers from mental illness, but was not more specific.

During the 35-mile-ride between El Dorado and Florence, the 36-year-old passenger made a phone call to Montgomery County Undersheriff Troy Mackie. The two women work in food service at the Montgomery County Jail operated by Mackie, Herzet said.

Discretely, the woman told Mackie to contact the Marion County sheriff’s office. Forrester did not realize whom the woman was calling, Herzet said.

The women stopped at Johnson’s Convenience Store in Florence and Marion County sheriff’s officers pulled up. They arrested Forrester without incident.

Forrester was transferred from the Marion County Jail to the Butler County Jail. She is being detained on charges of aggravated assault and kidnapping.

Last modified July 13, 2011

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