Note helps foil kidnapping
By By Lisa Tindell
Connie Kinman didn’t know if the note she was reading Wednesday was true.
But state troopers now say that note found at a Flomaton truck stop led to the arrest of a Louisiana man and the rescue of the woman and two children he is believed to have kidnapped.
The note stated that a woman and her two children had been abducted and were being taken to Atlanta by the suspect, state troopers said.
The note also contained information on the license plate number of the vehicle occupied by the man and the kidnapping victims, officials said in a press release.
A short time after authorities responded to the note, a state trooper stopped Therral Hatfield, 25, of Jefferson, La., on Interstate 65 and arrested him after finding a .45 caliber handgun in the door of the car. Passenger LaTasha Hill, also of Jefferson, confirmed to officers that she and her two children, also in the car, had been kidnapped, troopers said.
Hill was charged with giving false information and carrying a pistol without a permit.
Kinman said Hill had handed the note to a second woman in a restroom at the Yellow Hammer Diamond Gasoline location at exit 69, the Flomaton/Wallace exit, on I-65.
Kinman said she was reluctant to call 911 but decided to call a number listed as family members of the woman who wrote the note.
The mother got New Orleans police to call Kinman.
Shortly after that, a trooper in Butler County stopped the vehicle and arrested Hatfield.
An online wedding Web site states that Hatfield and Hill were planning a wedding for September.
Kinman said she was shaken by the incident but would take the same action again in order to help someone.
Agencies assisting with the traffic stop and continuing investigation are the Conecuh County Sheriff’s Department, Louisiana State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.