TACOMA, Wash. — Two kidnapping suspects were arrested in South Tacoma Thursday morning after a woman managed to escape her captors and call the police.
The call came in late Wednesday night around 10:15 p.m. from a cannabis store near S Pine Street and S 38th Street where the victim called 911.
When officers arrived, the victim told them that she had been held captive for five to seven days by two suspects, one of whom is her ex-boyfriend.
She said the two suspects were both gang members, according to arrest documents, and that they kept her captive in a trailer.
The suspects, identified as 22-year-old Ottahyo William Caldwell and 30-year-old Milo Junior Tinifu, were charged Friday. They pleaded not guilty.
Officers described the victim as “exhausted” and observed red marks on her hands that suggested her hands had been bound. She told officers that her hands had been tied together with a shoelace.
The victim told officers that the suspects had beaten her on multiple occasions during which the suspects kicked and punched her. The arrest documents say police observed bruising on her arms and open wounds on her knees, and she told officers that she could still feel swelling on her head.
The arrest documents state the victim said she was not sexually assaulted but believed the suspects planned on trafficking her, forcing her to perform sexual acts for money.
During further forensic analysis of her injuries, the victim said she’d been sober for nine months but was forced to smoke up to 15 fentanyl pills a day by the suspects to stay “doped up,” according to the arrest documents.
The victim was able to escape on Wednesday when the suspects drove her to a gas station near S. 38th Street and S. Pine Street and told her to sell a power drill. When they let her out of the vehicle, which she described as a black Mercedes, she dropped the drill and ran to the cannabis store where she called the police.
The victim was taken to the hospital, and police began canvassing the area of S. Tacoma Way, S. Adams Street and S. Washington Street where she told police the trailer was located.
Officers found the trailer as described by the victim and saw one of the suspects identified by the victim exit a black Mercedes and walk toward the trailer.
As officers were requesting additional units, the suspect got back into the black Mercedes and left the scene.
Officers followed and saw the vehicle run a red light, according to the arrest documents. The officers activated their emergency lights and began pursuing the suspect’s vehicle.
The suspects fled, running another red light.
Following a failed PIT maneuver, officers disabled the vehicle about 2 miles away at Tacoma Mall Boulevard and S 64th Street.
The suspects emerged from the vehicle and ran. During a short foot chase, investigators say one suspect was seen throwing a black pistol into a bush, which was later recovered.
The two suspects were caught and placed under arrest a short distance away.
During a police interview with Caldwell, identified as the victim’s 22-year-old ex-boyfriend, the suspect denied that he and the other suspect had kidnapped the victim. He also denied being in the vehicle when the victim ran away.
However, he admitted to witnessing the Tinifu physically assault the victim multiple times in recent days, according to the arrest documents.
Caldwell was charged with two counts of first-degree kidnapping, second-degree assault and obstructing a police officer. Tinifu was charged with two counts of first-degree kidnapping, second-degree assault, unlawful possession of a firearm, eluding police and obstructing a police officer.