Mount Gambier man in custody as women held captive for a week

A MOUNT Gambier man has been remanded in custody by Victorian Police after he kidnapped a woman from the Blue Lake city and held her captive for more than a week.

The 23-year-old man was arrested in Casterton on Monday after he was spotted by police, with the woman, walking along a road.

He fled into the dense bush and was located by police hours later.

Limestone Coast Police were involved in the operation after the woman was reported missing and last seen in Mount Gambier on August 26.

Following the arrest across the border, Limestone Coast Police officer in charge Superintendent Phil Hoff confirmed there was no longer any threat to the woman’s safety.

“The person of interest has been located and there are no longer any fears for the woman’s safety,” Supt Hoff said.

“There are some matters we would like to investigate here in South Australia, but the Victorian Police have priority as they have the suspect in custody.”

The man faced the Warrnambool Magistrates Court yesterday charged with kidnapping and false imprisonment.

He was also charged with a range of traffic offences and breaching an intervention order.

Warrnambool Police Detective Acting Sergeant Jim Beaumont told The Warrnambool Standard woman was known to the man and claimed she was in fear of her safety.

“We’re still working with the victim to get a full account of what occurred,” he said.

“The investigation is complex and ongoing.”

He said the woman was missing for more than a week before she was able to notify police of her location.

“A large number of police from both the Hamilton and Portland areas were involved in the recovery operation and the arrest of the man,” he said.

“We will be alleging the woman has been held captive for a week between South Australia and Victoria, the man crossed the border a number of times and police were initially unaware of the woman’s predicament.”