Abduction attempt reported near Forsyth

2012-01-13T12:43:00Z 2012-02-08T10:35:40Z Abduction attempt reported near ForsythBy CLAIR JOHNSON Of The Gazette Staff The Billings Gazette
January 13, 2012 12:43 pm  • 

A woman who was traveling in the Forsyth area  Thursday reported that a man tried to abduct her but left when she pulled a gun, Rosebud County Undersheriff Arlan Thingvold said Friday.

The woman, who reported the incident to the sheriff's office at 6:50 p.m. Thursday, said that between 2 and 3 p.m. she had stopped along the Frontage Road between Rosebud and Forsyth to look for a CD in her car, Thingvold said.

A man approached the driver's side door and told her she had to go with him, the undersheriff said. The man pulled out a fish fillet knife that had a substance on it that looked like blood and said, "You need to come with me or you'll end up like that bitch on TV," the woman reported, Thingvold said.

The woman, who lives in the area, interpreted the man's comment as a reference to Sidney teacher Sherry Arnold, who was confirmed dead Friday by law enforcement officials.

Arnold went missing Jan. 7 while jogging. The FBI  said Friday that investigators had a suspect in custody and were questioning another to determine what happened to Arnold.

Thingvold said he did not believe the two cases were related.

"We have nothing to point that way," he said.

Thingvold said the woman told the man to wait while she got her cigarettes, then reached down and pulled out a gun. The man left without saying anything and drove off to the west.

The man is described as 6 feet, 5 inches tall, weighing between 250 and 300 pounds with longish red curly hair and a full beard, Thingvold said. The man had green and blue tattoos on his forearms, including an outline of an eagle in blue ink with USA underneath. The man drove a 1980s faded red Chevrolet panel van with dark tinted or black spray-painted windows.

Thingvold said he didn't know why the woman waited almost four hours to report the incident but that the department is taking the complaint seriously. The sheriff's office sent out a report on the incident to agencies in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

Contact Clair Johnson at cjohnson@billingsgazette.com or 657-1282.

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