Crimes and Courts

Two hitchhikers in custody after allegedly pointing gun at teenagers and putting them in trunk

MARTINS FERRY, Ohio (WTRF) - Two teenage girls from Dillonvale are lucky to be alive today after they were kidnapped in Martins Ferry last night.

Martins Ferry Police Chief John McFarland says the girls, aged 14 and 17, were driving through Dillonvale when they reportedly saw two hitchhikers -- a man and a woman.

The hitchhikers allegedly told the girls that they needed to get to St. Clairsville, but the girls could only take them as far as Martins Ferry. When they arrived in the parking lot at the Martins Ferry McDonald's, the male hitchhiker reportedly asked if they could be dropped off at his uncle's house, and gave directions.

While going north on back streets, police say they ended up in a dark, secluded alley. The male hitchhiker grabbed the driver by the neck and put a gun to her head, reportedly telling her to pull over.

On the side of the road, the male hitchhiker allegedly ordered them out of the car and put them both in the trunk. After driving around for a short period of time, the car stopped and it was clear to the teenagers that the hitchhikers had left. The hit the emergency exit latch, got out, and waved down help.

Police say the suspects stole several items out of the vehicle including the teenagers' cell phones.

An hour later, an officer from the Yorkville Police Department reportedly found the suspects on the railroad tracks in a secluded area of Yorkville.

It was later found that the male allegedly dropped something into the grass, which turned out to be a .40 caliber Smith and Wesson handgun.

Police arrested Jordan Javaughn Baker, 23 of Indianapolis, Indiana, and Tia Nicole Ashley Benson, 29 of Steubenville. Both suspects are charged with several felonies, including abduction, kidnapping, and aggravated robbery.


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