Text messages save Missouri woman from kidnapping

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Leonard Wilson

PULASKI COUNTY, MO (KPLR) – A text message may have saved a Missouri woman’s life.

A man contacted the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department on Friday after receiving disturbing texts from his girlfriend. The messages said she was being kidnapped and that he should contact police.

The victim’s exact location was hard for investigators to pin down. A series of short text messages from the victim had law enforcement scrambling to locations throughout the County and City of Waynesville. Police say they eventually located the suspect’s truck near the Roubidoux River in a State Park on Revere Road.

A man and a woman were sitting in the truck when police discovered it.  This matched the description of the vehicle in the messages.  A woman jumped out of the vehicle when deputies approached. She yelled that the man in the car had a gun.

The driver immediately surrendered and was taken into custody. He has been identified as Leonard Wilson, 33, from Tuscumbia.

The victim told officers that she had been kidnapped and assaulted by the suspect. Police say the woman was extremely upset. She said Wilson attempted to rape her.

Police found several guns and other evidence during a search of the suspect’s vehicle. Wilson is currently being held at the Pulaski County Jail on charges of kidnapping, attempted rape and sexual abuse. His cash-only bond is set at $500,000.