Prosecutors in Barry and McDonald counties have charged two brothers with kidnapping, assaulting and robbing a woman last Friday. Both brothers are now in custody.
The woman was kidnapped from her home in McDonald County west of Washburn after two masked men broke into her home, beat her and ransacked the home. They then threw the woman in the trunk of her car and made her tell them her bank account's PIN.
While she was in the trunk, the attackers stole $351 from her account at an ATM in Cassville. Later, they withdrew or tried to withdraw more money from an ATM in Berryville, Ark., and possibly other banks. The woman told detectives that they got mad during the ordeal because her bank account became overdrawn.
During the ride, the woman was able to open the trunk with a latch inside the trunk. The men yelled at her to close the trunk. When she couldn't, they stopped and one of the men slapped her before slamming the trunk shut. Later, one of the men opened the trunk again and slapped her again.
The attackers eventually let the woman out on a county road south of Eagle Rock, possibly in Arkansas, hit her in the head, and pushed her down a hill. She then walked a mile in bare feet to get help. The men submerged her car in the Roaring River arm of Table Rock Lake, where it was recovered.
The probable cause statement says investigators identified Mathew Miller from the ATM surveillance camera video that showed his face and identified Michael Miller from the same video that showed recognizable tattoos on his left forearm. Michael Miller had previously been in the Barry County jail, so a detective recognized the tattoos.
Mathew Miller, 21, of Cassville is arrested and in jail in in Barry County. Michael Miller, 26, of Eagle Rock was also arrested.
Both men are charged in Barry County with felonious restraint, tampering with a motor vehicle, misdemeanor third-degree assault and misdemeanor fraudulent use of a debit card. They're charged in McDonald County with kidnapping, first-degree burglary and tampering with a motor vehicle.
Judges set the men's bonds at $25,000 in Barry County and $50,000 in McDonald County.
Although it was likely the most frightening ride of her life, the woman from southwest Missouri couldn't even see it, because she had been stuffed in the trunk of her car by two men.
The men had busted into her home and roughed her up; they demanded money and prescription drugs.
"Pretty good bruises and knots on her from being hit and thrown around," saidd Barry County Sheriff Mick Epperly.
The men stuffed her in the trunk, drove to her bank in Cassville, and forced her to give them her PIN to withdrawal money from her account.
The culprits then took off to the Eagle Rock area. At one point, the victim managed to open the trunk. When she refused their demands to shut it, they pulled the car over.
"They went back there and hit her a couple times and slammed the lid down on the trunk," said Epperly.
From there, they drove to Farm Road 1180 in Barry County. The woman was dragged out of the trunk, beaten again and rolled down a hill. Left barefoot, she managed to walk more than a mile.
Help was at Don Veatch's house.
"I don't see how she made it," said Veatch who lives on the farm road. "Her feet were all bloodied and cut up from walking."
The victim was rushed to the hospital; deputies started looking for the men.
Sheriff Epperly said the woman may have been targeted,
"I don't think she knows them, but they know her."
Epperly added that the culprits seem to know when the woman would have money deposited in her bank account. She's disabled. The sheriff said it appears the men were after her disability check.
Veatch, who keeps a gun nearby because he said you never know what could happen in the rural area, can believe the victim was singled out.
"Easy prey," he said.