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Police Say Woman Bound With Duct Tape Escapes By Stealing Kidnappers’ Truck

St. Johnsbury, VT – A kidnapped woman managed to escape from her captors last week by stealing their truck while her hands were bound with duct tape and a portion of her head was covered with a bag, according to police.

Alarmed witnesses called police after seeing the woman driving down a St. Johnsbury street with her hands tied together and a bag over her head on Feb. 23, WNYW reported.

Police responded to the scene and made contact with the woman, who told the officers she was abducted by a man and a woman while she was walking on the side of the road in Peacham, according to WMUR.

The Vermont State Police (VSP) identified the individuals who picked the woman up as 45-year-old Mack Varnum and 36-year-old Nichole Cloutier.

The duo allegedly picked the victim up near Varnum’s residence, then forcibly bound and restrained her inside the truck, WFLA reported.

The victim said they drove her around and held her hostage in an area between Peacham and Danville, where they allegedly threatened to kill her, according to investigators.

When the suspects briefly left her alone in the pickup, the victim said she was able to free herself just enough to get behind the wheel of the vehicle, WFLA reported.

The victim then sped off and drove about 15 miles away to St. Johnsbury, where she was spotted by concerned citizens, according to police.

Police said the woman was transported to the hospital, where she was treated and released, WMUR reported.

The VSP tracked the suspects down at Varnum’s residence on Feb. 24 and arrested them both.

Cloutier pleaded not guilty on Monday to charges of aggravated assault, unlawful restraint, and kidnapping, WCAX reported.

Varnum is facing the same charges, as well as a count of attempted murder.

According to court documents, the victim said she had been living with Varnum and that they got into an argument after she borrowed his vehicle to go buy drugs, WCAX reported.

Investigators said the victim told them she was abducted by Cloutier and Varnum after she took off from the residence on foot.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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