Two Peacham residents are facing kidnapping charges — and one of them an attempted murder charge — after a woman was reportedly found in a truck with her hands duct taped and a bag partially over her head, Vermont State Police said Friday evening.
Mack Varnum, 45, is charged with attempted first-degree murder, kidnapping, first-degree unlawful restraint and first-degree aggravated domestic assault. Nichole Cloutier, 36, is charged with kidnapping, first-degree unlawful restraint and aggravated assault.
Authorities responded at around 11:30 a.m. Thursday to a report of “a woman in a vehicle who had her hands bound together with duct tape and her head partially covered with a bag and duct tape” on Bay Street in St. Johnsbury, police said in a press release.
The unnamed victim was freed from her restraints by first responders, treated at Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital in St. Johnsbury and subsequently released, according to the press release.
The victim told police that Varnum and Cloutier had picked her up in Varnum’s truck on the side of the road in Peacham near his home, police said, “at which point (the victim) was forcibly restrained and bound.”
She was restrained for several hours while her captors threatened her life, according to the press release.
The victim was left alone in the truck long enough that she was able to break free of her restraints enough to drive away. She drove herself to Bay Street, where first responders found her.
Varnum and Cloutier were arrested Friday and both are set to be arraigned on Monday, Feb. 27. They are being held without bail at the Northeast Regional Correctional Facility in St. Johnsbury.
Attempted first-degree murder and kidnapping carry maximum sentences of life in prison.
Clarification: This story was updated to more clearly describe the condition of the victim.