A St. Petersburg woman safely escaped Monday after being abducted by four men who forced her to help them search for an acquaintance of hers to settle a dispute, investigators said.
The men did not harm the woman but held her against her will as they drove to several locations in mid-Pinellas County looking for the man, investigators said.
Hours after she was pulled into the suspects’ car at a St. Petersburg apartment complex, the woman managed to jump out of the car and run to a Largo area business, police said. At the business, she used a phone to call her family, police said. The men in the car drove away.
The woman, identified as 33-year-old Latanya Henry, arrived about 8:25 a.m. at Boca Ciega Apartments, 3401 37th St. S., where her sister lives, police said. According to detectives, Henry’s sister said she saw Henry from her apartment window as she arrived in a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu to pick her up and run errands.
After getting out of her Malibu, Henry observed the men in a silver Toyota Camry, police said. One of the men called to her and she approached to see what they wanted, police said. As she neared the Camry, one of the men pulled her into the car, which drove away, police said.
Henry said the men mentioned the name of a man she knew and demanded her assistance in finding him, police said. It appeared the men in the car were seeking restitution or revenge, police said.
“Narcotics may have played a role in the reason for the dispute,” police spokesman Mike Puetz said in a news release.
Henry’s sister told detectives she ran outside to help, but by the time she got downstairs, the Camry had left. Police said Henry’s car was left in the complex’s parking lot with the engine running and her belongings on the front seat.
After the ordeal, Henry’s family picked her up from the Largo business and drove her to St.
Petersburg police headquarters to speak with detectives, Puetz said.
Henry told detectives she did not know the men in the car.
Due to the ongoing investigation, additional details regarding the identity of the man the suspects were seeking and the reason are being withheld at this time, Puetz said.