South Carolina authorities have arrested the suspect in the abduction of a 14-year-old girl who was rescued yesterday. Vinson Filyaw, 37, (R) was arrested early today as he walked along a South Carolina interstate. He is being charged initially with kidnapping, possession of an incendiary device and impersonating an officer.
According to investigators, Filyaw kidnapped Elizabeth Shoaf (L) on September 6th- while she was walking home from her bus stop. Investigators said he threatened her using homemade grenades and a flare gun as he pretended to be a law enforcement officer. He then hid the girl in an underground bunker.
Officers say that bunker contained supplies and weapons, and was about 15 feet deep and 20 feet long. It was dug into a wooded area, and was covered with a makeshift door and leaves.
According to investigators, Filyaw told the girl that he had booby-trapped the place, and she would get hurt if she left. On Wednesday, the victim was able to send a text message while the man was sleeping, telling her family that she was in a hole and could hear trucks. That information helped investigators narrow their search location. The girl was discovered early Saturday morning, and has since been treated and released from the hospital.
Filyaw had been on the run from officers since the spring, when he was charged with criminal sexual conduct against a 12-year-old girl. Investigators think he escaped from officers coming to arrest him at his home by slipping out of a hole in his bedroom and into an underground tunnel.
More Info/Sources: WISTC- Columbia, SC ~ WLTX- Columbia, SC