Police Offer Advice After Recent Kidnappings

There are steps that local police officers say that you should take if you are ever the unfortunate victim of a kidnapping.

Police have investigated not one, but two kidnappings in our area
recently. The first took place on April 30th when Kemper County authorities say three women conspired to kidnap six-year old Jashayla Hopson from East Kemper Elementary School. More than a week later, a woman in Wayne County reported being kidnapped on the side of the road there after her car broke down.

Thankfully, the woman was not hurt during the ordeal and the suspect eventually fled the car on foot outside of a Meridian Walmart. Little Jashayla Hopson also escaped without harm after being held by the women for more than 24 hours. Captain Dean Harper says if the unthinkable actually happens to you, as hard as it sounds, don't panic.

"Yeah, you could write a book on what to do and what not to do in a situation like this," Harper says. "Biggest thing, as hard as it sounds, is to remain calm."

Captain Harper tells Newscenter 11 it's also important to remember as many details as possible about the kidnapper and your surroundings. Also, he says if you have a chance to escape, take it. If you are ever in situation that doesn't feel right, walk away. Harper tells us not to be afraid to scream for help.

"Because a lot of times in these kidnapping situations, as evidenced up in Ohio, they can turn out worse," he says.

A judge has denied bond for the three women accused of kidnapping Jashayla Hopson. Meanwhile, police are searching for the two men they believe were involved in the kidnapping of the woman in Wayne County on Friday. If you have any information, call police.


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