Rathdrum kidnapping victim describes armed abduction

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by OTHELLO RICHARDS & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on April 17, 2014 at 9:24 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 17 at 9:40 PM

RATHDRUM, Idaho.--KREM 2 News spoke for the first time on Thursday with a North Idaho woman who was kidnapped at her home in 2012. She was eventually dropped off 750 miles away in Montana.

A judge sentenced 58-year-old Mitchell Lee Walck in April to life in prison for the crime. Walck must serve at least 20 years before he is eligible for parole, according to authorities.

Deputies checked around the property of a homeowner on December 1, 2013 for Walck. He had been accused of shooting a state police officer the day before. Deputies could not find him that day and told the homeowner it was safe for her to go about her business.

READ: N. Idaho woman recounts horrors of kidnapping

“I went to the door, stepped out. He was down on my cement block, I mean my cement pad and he had the gun pointed at me,” said kidnap victim and homeowner Susan-Marie Smith.

Smith said Walck had been hiding throughout the night in her 1958 Chevy. She said she did not know he was there. Smith said Walck forced her into her home in Rathdrum at gun point. She added that he demanded food and that she wash and dry his clothes.

“He actually threatened to kill my dogs because they were barking,” said Smith.

READ: Rathdrum kidnapping victim back home

Smith said Walck eventually took her outside and the two got into her Subaru.

“I think he indicated that he wanted me to drive, but I refused to do so.  I wanted his hands busy. I wanted him occupied with something else,” said Smith.

Smith said Walck drove her through Washington, back into Idaho, through North Dakota and Montana.

He was talking the entire time.  I can remember snippets of it, but most of the time, I just blocked it out,” said Smith.

She said she blocked out his words and replaced it with silent prayers.

“Dear Father, I know that you are in control of everything, and if it's your will please keep me safe,” is what Smith said she silently prayed.

Smith said Walck stopped once at night between Bozeman, Montana and Billings, Montana for a 30 minute nap in a desolate area with possible coyotes. She said she did not feel it was safe to try to escape.

“He made me have the seatbelt on at all times and whenever we stopped, I had to put the stocking cap over my  head, over my  eyes, take my glasses off and lay back and so it looked like I was sleeping,” said Smith.

She said Walck threatened her.

“He said, ‘you better not run because I have my eye on you’ and he would reach for the gun,” said Smith.

Smith said after 27 hours in captivity and on the road that Walck decided to let her go in the parking lot of an Albertson’s Grocery store in Glendive, Montana.

“He said, ‘get out and take the garbage with you’,” said Smith.

Smith said she made a relieved phone call to family inside the store.

“My sister in law answered and I said, ‘Hi, I just want to let you know that I am safe. I'm in Glendive, Montana and I’ve been kidnapped. He let me go in Glendive. Would you call the FBI?’” said Smith.

Authorities arrested Walck in Bismarck, North Dakota several days later. Walck said she feels a little stronger from the experience, but also a little paranoid. She said she feels like justice had been served.

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