Weatherford Democrat

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March 7, 2013

Alleged abductor, victim found at I-20 rest stop

By CHRIS AGEE | Lone Star News Group

Personnel from the Department of Public Safety and Palo Pinto County Sheriff’s Office teamed up early Wednesday morning to arrest an aggravated kidnapping suspect.

DPS Trooper Gary Rozzell said Denton police Tuesday issued an attempt to locate an individual in connection to a welfare concern.

He said authorities were requesting help locating Michael James Crawford, 33, of Artesia, N.M., and his white GMC pickup truck.

According to Sheriff Ira Mercer, Crawford was wanted in connection with the reported kidnapping of his wife, who was a passenger in the truck.

Later Tuesday evening, Rozzell said authorities heard from the suspected victim’s mother, who informed them her daughter and Crawford were still in Texas and were stopped at a roadside park on Interstate 20.

“They didn’t know just where,” he said, “and then troopers, around 1:50 a.m. [Wednesday], located the pickup.”

He said officers from his agency and the PPCSO arrived at the rest area, near the Parker-Palo Pinto County line, a short time later.

“By that time, a warrant had been issued by Denton County for aggravated kidnapping,” he said.

According to Rozzell, Crawford was arrested at the scene without incident.

The suspect’s wife, whose name was not provided by local authorities, was in the vehicle and was safely removed from the situation.

While Crawford was booked into the Palo Pinto County Jail, based on the warrant, his truck was hauled to an adjacent impound lot awaiting processing from Denton County authorities.

Mercer added officers also found a handgun and a small amount of a suspected controlled substance, thought to be methamphetamine, in the truck.

According to county records, Crawford remained in the custody of PPSCO deputies as of Wednesday afternoon. Bond was set at $10,000 for one count of manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance under 1 gram and bond had not been set late Wednesday afternoon on the count of kidnapping contained in the Denton County warrant.

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