Man accused of kidnapping Lincoln County woman arrested

LINCOLN COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - A man who is accused of kidnapping a Lincoln County woman who jumped from a moving vehicle on an interstate in order to escape has been arrested.

According to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, 43-year-old Brian Edward Leatherman was arrested Monday night after he was found sleeping in the basement of his parent's home.

He was wanted on multiple charges, including kidnapping and attempted rape.

Officials say a 43-year-old woman was reported missing on April 8 after she failed to return to her mother's home in Lincoln County. The next day, Catawba County deputies contacted Lincoln County and said the alleged victim was reportedly kidnapped from a home in their area.

Authorities say Leatherman and the victim had been in an relationship for some time. The alleged victim had a domestic violence order against Leatherman, officials said.

According to the report, Leatherman broke into a home on Old Shelby Road and forcibly removed the woman. Lincoln County deputies then went to Leatherman's home on Matthew Miller Road in Vale, but did not find him or the victim.

Sheriff David Carpenter says something happened between the two that escalated into violence. "He shot her with a crossbow in her upper leg," Carpenter said.

When they stopped for a moment in Catawba County, the sheriff says, the woman went to a house to for help but Leatherman came and took her back to the vehicle. The two were not seen again until Wednesday when she escaped along Interstate 40 in McDowell County by jumping out of the moving pick up truck. She was seriously hurt.

The suspect did not stop. Instead, he kept driving away. When officers arrived at the scene, they found the woman badly hurt from more than just jumping out of the truck.  The truck was found Sunday in Lincoln County not far from where Leatherman lived.

"She still had the arrow in her leg," says McDowell Sheriff's Detective Richelle Bailey. "It had been there for three days."

Bailey says the victim is still recovering and has been put in a safe location.

Leatherman was placed in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center under a $1,000,000 bond. He is expected to appear in court Tuesday.

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