A meet-up arranged on an online dating site went terribly wrong for an Okanagan woman who was forcibly confined by her would-be suitor.
Police announced Friday they have a 36 year old Alberta man in custody, who they allege abducted a woman he’d met on an online dating forum.
The woman contacted West Kelowna RCMP Aug. 13,. at 8:39 a.m., in the hours following a harrowing meeting in Peachland where she was held against her will and injured.
“Police have learned that the victim met the suspect online through a dating website before meeting in person with the suspect a few times prior to this incident,” said Const. Jesse O’Donaghey.
“During their most recent meeting with one another on Aug. 12, the suspect allegedly confined the woman to a vehicle and drove her around the area for several hours before eventually releasing her.”
The victim, an adult woman, sustained non-life threatening injuries as a result of the incident.
“The ongoing police investigation followed several leads as investigators worked tirelessly to positively identify, locate and arrest their suspect,” said O’Donaghey.
“On Aug. 18 at 10:28 a.m., with the assistance of Southeast District RCMP Air Services’ fixed wing aircraft, the man was arrested without incident when police located him in his vehicle in Peachland.”
The suspect remains in custody at this time and is expected to appear in Court this afternoon. He faces potential charges of forcible confinement, assault and uttering threats.
“Investigators indicate that the man was driving a silver 2000 Dodge Durango bearing Alberta licence plates and alleged to have travelled in the Peachland, West Kelowna, Kelowna and Lake Country areas over the course of several hours during the alleged incident,” he said.
O’Donaghey said, that while this isn’t something he’s encountered before, the incident serves as a reminder of the risks of meeting up with strangers.
“Do your research on the person you are in touch with,” he said. “Do background checks, and if you’re going to meet in-person bring a friend or do your best to tell your friends where you are going and when you will be back.”
Anyone who may have witnessed anything suspicious involving such a vehicle is asked to call Const. Denise Bendfeld of the West Kelowna RCMP General Investigations Section (GIS) at 250-768-2880.