Newton police officers arrested a Texas man near Hesston on Friday on suspicion of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated assault, Newton police Deputy Chief Eric Murphy said.
A 24-year-old woman told police that Joseph Andrew De Russe pointed a gun at her, blindfolded and handcuffed her, and kidnapped her around 6:50 p.m. Thursday in Austin, Texas.
The woman and De Russe were involved in a relationship until about three weeks ago, according to Newton police. Family members of the woman were able to track her using GPS coordinates obtained from her cellphone, Murphy said.
Newton police officers had been advised to keep a lookout for a possible stolen vehicle and a welfare check on a possible endangered female early Friday morning, according to a news release from the department. A Newton officer stopped a vehicle on I-135 near Hesston shortly before 5 a.m. and arrested De Russe.
The woman had been blindfolded and handcuffed until the car entered Oklahoma, she told police.
“She wasn’t being restrained at that point, but she was still in fear,” Murphy said. “She was afraid to try and escape.”
De Russe, 24, was booked into the Harvey County Detention Center, where Murphy said he will initially be charged through the Harvey County District Court. From there, Murphy said De Russe could be extradited to Texas to face further charges.
By Friday afternoon, the woman’s family had arrived in Newton to pick her up, Murphy said.