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Little progress in Alberta model's suspected kidnapping in South Carolina

November 06, 2017 - 11:04 AM

A South Carolina man charged with kidnapping and criminal sexual conduct after an Alberta woman was lured to the United States with the promise of a modelling job remains behind bars.

A spokeswoman for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit court in Greenville, S.C., says Fred Russell Urey, 38, was denied bail after his arrest in late May and remains in jail as the case slowly works its way through the courts.

"There's a lot more that needs to be looked at by law enforcement," court spokeswoman Marcia Barker said Monday. "The police are still doing investigative work and we're still working with them.

"He'll be in jail until the case is disposed of."

That could take some time, Barker said.

"It depends if he wants a trial or not, and we're not even at that stage in looking at that. It will take a good while for the case to be firmed up."

Police have said the woman, described only as being between the age of 18 and 25, flew to Atlanta for what she believed was a modelling job and had been talking with the accused for a couple of months.

He agreed to pay her $15,000 for her work which would not involve "nudity or acts of sexual behaviour."

Police allege she was held captive and sexually assaulted after he threatened her safety and the safety of her family in Canada. They said the ordeal lasted five days, but she was allowed to contact her family via FaceTime as her captor watched. Somehow she was able to signal her location and give clues that she was in danger.

Her family contacted the RCMP who notified local authorities. They managed to track the couple by using cellphone signals.

When police surrounded the trailer in Norris, S.C., the woman is said to have jumped through a plate-glass window to escape. Police said they broke into the barricaded trailer where they found a suspect in a rear bedroom. They say he held deputies at bay with a knife to his own throat before finally surrendering.

"I think the fact she was from Canada and it was kidnapping would make it a pretty high-profile case," said Barker.

She said the majority of cases in South Carolina are resolved without going to trial.

"Most cases get resolved with a plea. If we had everyone ask for a trial, our courts couldn't handle it. It just depends on how good our case is. It depends on the defence attorney. It depends on what he's willing to do."

— Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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