Federal prosecutors on Monday charged a 24-year-old Texan with kidnapping, in a case where authorities allege he abducted a woman at gunpoint and brought her to Kansas as part of a plot to get her to marry him.
Joseph Andrew DeRusse, of Austin was charged in a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Wichita, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom’s office said in a statement. If convicted, DeRusse would face life in prison.
The complaint accuses DeRusse of using a gun in Austin on Friday to kidnap a woman identified as HMM. The complaint alleges that he wanted to “force her to spend three weeks with him at a bed and breakfast in Narka, Kan., during which time he intended to convince her to marry him,” the statement said. Authorities allege that he handcuffed her and blindfolded her and drove her to Kansas, the statement said. Later, she learned that the weapon he allegedly used was a BB gun.
Authorities used GPS to track DeRusse’s car, and on Friday, Newton police used the tracking information to spot his car and stop him on northbound I-135, where they freed the woman, the statement said.
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In the car, investigators found an engagement ring bought by DeRusse, the statement said.
Reach Tim Potter at 316-268-6684 or firstname.lastname@example.org.