Kidnapped 14-year-old rescued after sending SMS

September 17, 2006 04:13

A text message sent by a kidnapped 14-year-old in the US to her mother led to her rescue, when police found her in a hand-dug, booby-trapped bunker, it was revealed on Saturday night. Elizabeth Shoaf's message also led investigators to name a suspect in her kidnapping more than a week ago - police were searching a wooded area where the girl was found for 36-year-old Vinson Filyaw, said Kershaw County Sheriff Mike McCaskill. Shoaf was found by deputies on Saturday about a mile from her home in a 15-foot deep hole in the side of a hill that was covered with plywood. The bunker had a hand-dug privy with toilet paper, a camp stove and shelves made with cut branches and canvas. McCaskill said the girl appeared to be unharmed but was taken to Kershaw County Medical Center for evaluation. Police have not interviewed her, saying they would leave her alone until she's ready to talk. "We're just glad that she's alive and she's safe and that she will be home with us," her mother, Madeline Shoaf told WLTX-TV in Columbia. "She's a good girl. ... We never believed that she ran away."

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