In an exclusive interview with Boca Raton, the woman who, along with her infant son, was abducted at Town Center four months prior to the mall murders talks candidly about what happened to her on Aug. 7, 2007.
Known only as “Jane Doe,” she remains the only person who knows first-hand what the murderer looks like. She spent two hours with Boca Raton‘s investigative reporter and answered a wide range of questions-including a dramatic and detailed account of what happened that day.
Here is the complete transcript of that part of the interview.
We had been shopping in the mall, and I was parked in the Nordstrom parking structure. I thought I had a good spot. I was only three spaces in. I got to the car, and I put my son in his car seat and then I went around to the back (it was a Lincoln Navigator) and put the shopping bags and the stoller in the back and shut the gate. Then I leaned in the front to put another bag on the front seat and I felt something was wrong. My son was crying “Mama, Mama,” and I look in the back and there he was next to my son. At first I was in shock, and I thought, “I must know this person. It was so fast but still like slow motion. He said, “Get in. Get in the car now.” Then I saw the gun.
I got in the car and told him to take whatever he wanted just don’t hurt us. My purse was on the front seat and he said asked me if I had a checkbook and I said, “No.” I handed him my purse, and he went through the wallet and asked if I had any more money. I only had $12. Then he asked what the gift cards I had were. He asked what my credit card balance was and I told him was maxed out and he got aggravated. He took my cell phone from the cup holder and told me to drive to the bank. It was like a car crash, everything was going through my head so fast, like “this only happens in the movies.” I drove to Wachovia and then he told me to stop, and he thought for a minute and then told me to go to Bank of America.
“Do what I say and I’ll let you go,” he said. I said, “Please don”t kill me or hurt my son and he said, “Don’t worry. I’m not going to kill you.” He spoke well, no accent and he seemed well-educated.
He told me to take out $200 and then another $200 and then another $200 and then again but it declined because the limit is $600. So I said, “Can you take me back to the mall now? And he said ‘Just drive.’ I turned east on Glades, and I’m thinking should I crash the car into a tree? And I’m looking around at all the other people in the other cars thinking, “They have no clue what’s going on in here.” And then he asked me if there were any churches near here and I thought, “Oh my God he’s going to kill me in a church.”
I didn’t know what to do, so I pretended I was having an asthma attack so maybe he would panic and just leave but he didn’t care and I when I said I needed my inhaler in my purse he just threw my purse at me. Then he told me to pull over in the parking lot of a strip mall near the Turnpike and told me to turn off the car; he got out and walked to the driver’s door. We got into an argument because I didn’t want to get out and I told him. The whole time I was reaching in the backseat to touch my son saying, “Mommy loves you, it’s gonna be alright.”
“Take my truck or just run though the bushes,’ I told him. He said, “No, I can’t take the chance with the cops.’ I said, “I won’t say anything, just leave.” He kept telling me to get out of the car and I kept saying no; finally he got really stern and said, “You have to get out of the car NOW!” So I got out and he told me to sit on the backseat.
Then he told me to put my hands behind my back and he pulled out these toy handcuffs. I thought he was going to kill me. I thought it was over right then. Then he pulled out the zip ties from the bag and he tied my ankles. Then he tied my neck to the headrest and put sunglasses with duct tape on the lenses on me. He got in the front seat and started driving and I freaked out and started screaming like I was choking myself. He pulled over. I could see a little bit under the glasses on my nose, and he leaned back and loosened the tie and said, “Is that better?”
It was very well planned. He had a plastic bag full of stuff and a fanny pack in there too.
I said “Please take us back to the mall” and he said “OK, I’m taking you back” but he was going the wrong way, and I didn’t want to say anything because then he would know I could see. He ended up getting on the Turnpike going north, but he stopped on the side before the tollbooth. He asked me if I had any change, and I told him I had a SunPass. He got off on the first exit on Atlantic and turned into a movie theater. At this point my son was sleeping. He took out a big pocketknife and told me to hold still. I really thought I was going to die. He put the knife to my throat and he cut the zip tie. My son started screaming, and I slipped and said his bottle was under the seat so he knew I could see and he leaned back and put the glasses on harder. I said, “Are we going back?” He said “Yes.”
Meanwhile my son’s father kept calling my cell phone and he was irritated. “Who is this guy?” I told him it was my son’s father and we were going through a custody battle, and he was worried I was going to take off with my son so when he can’t reach me he calls. I wanted him to think that people would be looking for me.
Finally we got back to the mall in the Bloomingdale’s parking lot and he put another zip tie around my neck and the headrest. He told me to call my son’s father back and tell him that my car broke down and to come pick me up. So he redials the number and holds the phone to my head, and I told him my truck broke down and to come and get me. He asked what happened and I said, “Just come.”
Then the guy asked me if I wanted a sip of a drink, and I said, “No thanks.” He kept asking so now I’m thinking he’s poisoned the water. He asked me if I wanted him to fill up my son’s bottle, and I said, “No, he’s fine.” Then he asked if I needed my inhaler and I said no so he put it in the cup holder.
Then he takes off the sunglasses and puts these white blacked-out swimming goggles on me. He said, “Your son was very good.” which was really kind of weird.
He said “If I see my face on the news or you tell the police I will come after you and your son.” Then he gets out of the car and takes off his gloves and I could see a little. So I waited like 30 seconds after I see him leave and I pull my hands out under my butt and pop off the headrest and free my head. Then I climbed in the front seat and drove like 80 miles an hour to the valet at Saks and said, “I’ve just been kidnapped.”
The valet called the cops and they came in about 20 minutes. A nice lady stayed with me until they came and then my son’s father came and we all went to the Boca Police station. They towed my truck and then questioned me for hours. Then finally they gave me my truck and I went home.