Two people are jailed for allegedly kidnapping a Little Canada woman who was held overnight against her will at a Bloomington hotel on a $5,000 ransom.
The saga began Monday morning after the victim was lured to a young woman’s car in Oakdale, thrown in the trunk and driven to a hotel, where she was instructed to contact family and friends for cash, criminal charges say. Captors threatened to shoot the woman if she failed to collect $5,000 on their behalf.
Jason D. Tucker, 37, and Hailey Flynn, 20, both of Minneapolis, were charged with felony kidnapping in Ramsey County District Court on Thursday.
Authorities worked quickly to pinpoint the suspects’ location by gathering GPS data from cellphones and scouring social media, according to Ramsey County Undersheriff Mike Martin.
“We pulled out every resource we had to locate her — not knowing whether it was even a real kidnapping,” said Martin, who explained that sometimes false reports are made. “In 30 years in law enforcement, this was one of the best examples of teamwork to prevent what could have very easily ended in tragedy.”
According to the criminal complaint:
Deputies responded to a home on the 100 block of Concetta Way in Little Canada around 9:45 a.m. Tuesday on a report of a kidnapping. The victim’s father told police that a man wearing a bulletproof vest came to his door holding up a picture of his daughter with a black eye. The man, who denied being involved in her kidnapping, explained that she was being held hostage for $20,000. If he didn’t pay, the captors would shoot her.
After the man left, the father called his daughter’s cellphone. He could hear someone in the background demanding money for her safe return, and the father offered to pay $1,000.
Other friends and family who received frantic messages from the victim that morning were told that she needed to raise $5,000 for her release.
The victim’s father worked with law enforcement to set up a meeting spot near the Mall of America. Kidnappers texted him saying he had 25 minutes to bring the money or else they would shoot his daughter in the parking lot.
Deputies who had pinged the victim’s cellphone in a nearby hotel located Tucker and the victim in the parking lot before the drop — just after he placed a firearm to her head and said, “I really don’t want to do this,” charges say.
Arresting officers found four folding knives, a replica firearm and a silencer in his possession. Bloodstains were found on his vehicle’s front passenger seat belt.
Investigators nabbed Flynn and her father at a different Bloomington hotel. The father has since been released and isn’t expected to face charges.
Interviews later revealed that Flynn picked up the victim from a residence Monday morning and began driving away as Tucker popped out of the trunk and choked and pistol whipped the victim. The blow cut open the victim’s head and swelled her right eye closed.
Tucker accused her of stealing his vehicle and said she must recoup $5,000 to cover his loss so he could start a new life in Florida, court records show. Authorities said they don’t believe she stole his vehicle.
After they drove her to a hotel, Tucker told her contact people on Facebook and ask for money. “Don’t say anything stupid,” he allegedly instructed. “Don’t make me put hands on you.”
At some point, Tucker stole her phone and began texting people to tell them that if he didn’t get the money, he would kill her. She spent the night on the bathroom floor.
Tucker remains jailed in lieu of $100,000 bail. He has a previous felony conviction for illegal possession of a firearm.