Woman Survives Kidnapping, Being Thrown From Bridge Into Frozen River After Witnessing Murder

She was treated for hypothermia.

By Jaime Lutz

An Arkansas woman who was kidnapped after witnessing a shooting death and thrown from a bridge into a frozen river managed to somehow survive and get away from her captors, the New York Daily News reported.

Little Rock police brought the 42-year-old woman to safety after they received a 911 call from someone reporting they had heard a woman screaming for help on the banks of the Arkansas river on Christmas morning.

The victim, who wasn’t named by police, told police that she had been thrown off a bridge running along the I-430 to the icy waters below. She then managed to swim to shore, police said.

The victim said she had been kidnapped after seeing two people get shot at a home in Scott, a town southeast of Little Rock, on early Christmas morning.

One shooting victim, Arlin Wayne Nugent, 49, was killed. The other is expected to recover in a hospital, the New York Daily News reported.

Richard Gilliam, 33, of Little Rock was arrested for the crimes shortly after the shooting. Late Wednesday, a second suspect, Deymon Webb, 28, turned himself into Little Rock police, KATV reported.

Webb and Gilliam allegedly invaded the Scott home and began shooting at the occupants, according to the Lonoke County Sheriff’s Office.

The kidnapping victim was being treated for hypothermia after the perilous swim through 32 degree waters, KATV reported, but NBC reported that she has since been released.

Gilliam and Webb are being held at the Lonoke County jail on charges of capital murder, attempt to commit capital murder, kidnapping and aggravated residential burglary. 

Gilliam’s first court appearance was yesterday, and is due back in court on February 20. He is being held on $1 million bond. 

Webb’s bond has not yet been set. His first court appearance is on Friday.

Gilliam and Webb were “acquaintances” with Nugent, said Captain David Bufford of the Lonoke County Sheriff’s Office. 

Anyone with information about the shooting is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 5001-676-3000.

[Image: Lonoke County Sheriff’s Office]

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