St. Johns County deputies investigate carjacking

Woman says gunman forced her to drive to Lakeland

Composite sketch of St. Johns County kidnapping suspect
Composite sketch of St. Johns County kidnapping suspect

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office continues to investigate the carjacking and kidnapping of a woman who said she was forced to drive from St. Johns County to Polk County.

The woman said a man pointed a gun at her about 6:40 a.m. Tuesday on State Road 13 near the Rivertown subdivision by a man.  The victim told deputies she thought she hit someone with her car, but when she stopped to help the person, he pulled a gun and forced her to drive him about 150 miles.

Polk County deputies said the woman was found unharmed inside her vehicle (pictured below). 

"The victim was able to get away from the suspect in Lakeland," said Carrie Horstman, spokesman for the Polk County Sheriff's Office. "We did conduct a full search with a K-9 unit and we were unable to find anything."

The alleged kidnapper was described as a man in his 50s with medium brown hair and a white, unkempt beard. The Sheriff's Office released a composite sketch created from the victim's description of her attacker.


Cmdr. Chuck Mulligan said the man might be a drifter.

"Anyone who would do something like this is a person who is very bold and is a danger to our community," said Mulligan. "At this point, we have to put some investigative means into play to determine where she was and where he was and extrapolate, if you will, to determine what point -- A-to-Z -- what occurred."

For the St. Johns County locals who live in the Rivertown community, news of a kidnapping at gunpoint is making some rethink just how safe they really are. 

"I was just out there walking this morning, and now I need to be more cautious when doing so," said St. Johns County resident Trish Miller.

St. Johns County deputies ask anyone who recognizes the person in the sketch to call the Sheriff's Office or Crime Stoppers at 904-209-3987.

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