A missing Arizona woman who was allegedly kidnapped by a man posing as a female Uber driver was rescued by authorities after she passed a note to a customer at a gas station begging for help.
The woman was reportedly abducted from the Phoneix area by 41-year-old Jacob Wilhoit. Her mother had reported her missing and stated that Wilhoit was a person of interest. The woman was abducted at 7am when the man posed as an Uber driver wearing a woman's wig. He restrained the woman and drove to Las Vegas where they spent the night in a park. The next day, they stopped at a gas station about 170 miles north of Phoenix. That's where the woman secretly slipped a note to a customer.
"Help," she scribbled on the note, adding her name and phone number. "Call 911. Blue Honda van … going towards Kingman Las Vegas." That customer dialed 911 and provided authorities with the details written on the note including where the van was headed. Officers apprehended the vehicle on Interstate 40 where they found multiple guns in plain view. They rescued the woman and arrested Wilhoit.
"The victim's extraordinary action in passing the note, the customer's willingness to assist, and the quick actions law enforcement saved the victim from her kidnapper and allowed her to return home with her family," reads a statement from the Sheriff's Office.
Wilhoit was taken into custody without incident and faces charges of threatening, aggravated assault, unlawful imprisonment, kidnapping, and other crimes. Authorities have not identified a possible motive.
"It's really no skin off your back to take the person seriously and make the call to 911. If it turns out it's some kind of hoax, no harm no foul. But don't just automatically discount it," said the deputy.
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