Thursday, December 14, 2006
fugitive caught in Mississippi
By SUE WATSON
The vehicle driven by an alleged kidnapper making a withdrawal from the drive-through at Potts Camp Bank was caught on surveillance cameras December 2, according to bank president Rodney Whaley.
The image was about to be handed over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation when Joseph Scott Freeman of Daytona Beach, Fla., was arrested in Leland, negating the need for the image, Whaley said.
Freeman allegedly kidnapped his ex-girlfriend Monday, Nov. 27, after she left for work in New Smyrna Beach, Fla., according to an on-line report in the Sun-Sentinel posted December 5.
Freeman was arrested after law-enforcement officers followed his trail through five states by tracking his ATM withdrawals. The chase ended in Leland, Monday, Dec. 4, after Freeman called his mother again demanding money be deposited in his account because he was running low. His victim, Karen Kummerer, was not physically harmed, but shaken up, during the week-long ordeal, according to reports.
U.S. Marshals and FBI agents were on the case early after Kummerer was reported missing and then left notes in bathrooms of fast-food joints and service stations.
All notes were identical, with Kummerer asking anyone finding the note to call the Daytona Beach police. The first note was found at an Arby’s in Charlotte, N.C., the second in Bryson City, N.C. and the last two in northeastern Alabama.
Whaley learned of the incident after receiving a call from an FBI agent asking to come by the bank and talk.
“We got into the security program, and found the black, 2000 Jeep Cherokee he was driving came through the drive-through at 2:58 Saturday afternoon,” Whaley said. “Everything was matching up and we were arranging to retrieve a copy for the FBI to take to their lab. Not too long afterward they caught up with him. That negated the need.”
Whaley said Potts Camp Bank installed its drive-through in 2000 and this is the first time the bank has been asked to help with an investigation of this nature.
“It’s just further evidence that technology is a good investigative tool,” Whaley said.
Kummerer, 50, dated Freeman, 42, for six months with knowledge about his violent past, news accounts said. She broke the relationship off in September and obtained a restraining order after Freeman began stalking her, according to police.
Freeman was already on federal probation for an armed home invasion in 2002 where he threatened a 74-year-old woman with a knife, according to a news report in the News Journal. Kummerer obtained a permanent injunction for protection against Freeman just six days before she was abducted.
The complete stories on this incident can be found online at www.sun-sentinel.com or www.news-journalonline.com. Articles published by these two news outlets were used as sources for much of this story.
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