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Nevada Mom Allegedly Kidnapped By Ex, Pocket Dials 911, Thwarting Abduction

"The bravery of this woman and her children cannot be overstated,” Mesquite Police chief MaQuade Chesley said of a woman who called 911 while being abducted.

By Dorian Geiger
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A Las Vegas woman who was allegedly abducted by a former romantic partner at knifepoint was rescued by police after she pocket-dialed emergency dispatchers, police said.

On Oct. 10, police in Mesquite, Nevada received a suspicious phone call from a “distressed caller” traveling in a moving vehicle. According to officials, the unidentified woman passenger discreetly called 911 and kept the line open in the hopes authorities would realize she was in danger.

Police later traced the call, and ultimately located and pulled over a vehicle they suspected the call had emanated from on the I-15. The woman and her three children were found unharmed inside the vehicle. 

“[She] was eventually able to quietly speak to the dispatcher, stating she was inside of a vehicle and needed help, but was not able to provide many details,” the Mesquite Police Department said in a statement on Oct. 12.

RELATED: Authorities Are Searching For California Man, Beaten And Kidnapped Off The Streets In Broad Daylight

The driver, identified as 34-year-old Justin Carter, was ultimately taken into custody after investigators say they observed “signs of criminal activity.”

Earlier that day, police say Carter tried to stab the victim, whom he later abducted at knifepoint along with her three children, in Las Vegas. Investigators suspect Carter then drove the four victims more than 80 miles north before he was arrested near the Utah border.

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"The bravery of this woman and her children cannot be overstated,” Mesquite Police chief MaQuade Chesley said. “They maintained their composure, and she bravely created a plan in her head to call for help as soon as she could." 

Authorities said Carter and the victim previously dated.

Carter now faces 14 felony and misdemeanor charges in connection with the incident, according to online jail records reviewed by Oxygen.com. He was charged with attempted murder, four counts of second-degree kidnapping in violation of extended protection order, domestic battery with the use of a deadly weapon, four felony counts of violation of an extended protection order, attempted sexual assault, coercion with use of a deadly weapon and two misdemeanor counts of resisting arrest. 

“I am grateful the dispatchers and officers working that night were ready to jump into action without hesitation to find and rescue these victims from such a terrifying experience,” Chesley added. “Their swift action and persistence to gather information from the 911 call saved this family from further harm.”

The Mesquite Police Department emphasized that investigating all pocket dials or accidental 911 calls is a “priority.”

A possible motive in the alleged botched kidnapping wasn’t released by authorities. 

“These pocket dials, it happens a lot,” Sgt. Wyatt Oliver, a public information officer for the Mesquite Police Department, told Oxygen.com on Monday afternoon. “This is the exact reason we always follow up on all of those. And of course, nine and a half times out of 10, it’s innocuous, but it’s why we’re always ready for that one small percentage chance that it is something.” 

Oliver said the unidentified victim was “very shaken up” by the incident.

“From what I know, she’s doing OK,” he added. “She’s doing pretty well given the circumstances. It’s amazing she was able to come up with this plan.” 

Carter is being held without bond at a Clark County jail, according to online jail records. Attorney information wasn’t immediately available for him on Monday afternoon.

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