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6-Footer Abducted, Kept in Suitcase; Talks His Way Out By Feigning Conspiracy

December 20, 1995

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) _ A 6-foot man was abducted and kept in a suitcase for four days before talking his captors into releasing him by claiming he wanted to join them in crime, an investigator said today.

Jason Stanley, 21, told officials he was kept in a soft-sided suitcase while carried into Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas before being returned to Arkansas and released Sunday.

``He’s about 6-foot, but he’s got a slender build,″ Benton County sheriff’s investigator Sam Blankenship said today.

Two men and a woman were charged with the kidnaping and ordered held on bond.

Blankenship said Stanley’s stepfather was told to pay $200,000 or provide 50 pounds of marijuana to obtain Stanley’s release. Stanley eventually talked his way out of captivity and contacted authorities.

``He got their confidence that he wouldn’t tell on them,″ Blankenship said. ``He said he would commit a felony act to prove his worthiness.″ The investigator said officers had no evidence Stanley actually did take part in any crime.

Bill Beasley, 18, and Joe Peters, 28, were charged with kidnapping, conspiracy to commit murder, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Darilyn Hill, 23, was being held in lieu of $35,000 bond on a charge of kidnapping.

Blankenship said the three discussed killing Stanley and shipping his body parts back to his family, perhaps in the suitcase.

Stanley, who weighs about 155 pounds, demonstrated for officers how he was stored in the fabric-lined suitcase, crawling into a fetal position, Blankenship said. Blankenship said the man’s hands and feet were bound and that he was transported in the back seat of the kidnappers’ car.

``He was more or less complaining about the whole time and they said, `If you don’t shut up, we’re going to throw you in the river,″ Blankenship said.

Blakenship said that in retracing the group’s travels, police found a family in Tahlequah, Okla., that was visited by the three suspects and recalled a child had said something about a voice in the suitcase.

``The child was only 4 years old, so it was pretty easy″ to dismiss her remark, Blankenship said.

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