Selma Police seek out kidnapping victims

Published 11:15am Friday, September 27, 2013

A Selma man was arrested Wednesday after allegedly kidnapping three women between June and August.

Daniel Emerson, 51, 9794 River Road, Selma, was arrested on three counts of first degree kidnapping. He is currently being held in the Dallas County Jail on a $1.5 million bond.

The three victims escaped before anything serious, police said.

emerson_kidnapping_forwebThe department announced the arrest Friday, but Selma Chief of Police William T. Riley said he is asking for any other potential victims to come forward.

“What we have found thus far is that the thing the victims have in common is that they have been substance abusers of some kind,” Riley said. “So, some may not want to come forward because of the status they hold in the community, or believe they will be ridiculed in someway.”

According to police investigator Lt. Curtis Muhannad the three victims were able to get away from Emerson who had been able to lure them into his 2000 Ford Explorer.

“Right now, we’re looking at three victims ranging in age from their early 20s to their mid-30s,” Muhannad said. “And each had some substance abuse history and were black females.”

While the department has had three victims come forward, it is the third victim — one who was reportedly attacked on Aug. 29 — that brought Emerson to the attention of police.

Muhannad said the third victim came to the police department shortly after 5 a.m. on Aug. 29 and reported having been kidnapped by a white male on the 1800 block of Water Avenue in a white Ford Explorer pretending to give her a ride.

“Once she was in the vehicle, the suspect held a knife to her throat and then said he hated black people,” Muhannad said, “The victim then bit him on the hand, grabbed the knife and stabbed the suspect in the chest before jumping from the vehicle.”

Muhannad said the victim kept the knife and presented it as evidence to police.

Later that day, police received a call from Vaughan Regional Medical Center, reporting a patient with a potentially life-threatening chest injury. Authorities then met Emerson at the hospital and interviewed him on the cause of his injury.

Muhannad said that at the time, Emerson told police he had simply fallen on his knife at home.

While police worked to follow up on his story and determine the identity of the victim, Emerson reportedly fled the hospital without receiving medical treatment.

“Further investigation led to another victim coming forward and identified Emerson in an earlier kidnapping in August,” Muhannad said. “Detectives then pulled reports where victims reported similar incidents with a white man, driving a white Ford Explorer or similar vehicle.”

Muhannad said detectives discovered the victim from the July 16 incident.

“In that case, a victim reported a white male driving a white Ford Explorer grabbed her and threw her in his vehicle at gunpoint and attempted to drive her to an unknown location,” Muhannad said. “But she was able to jump from the vehicle before the suspect could sexually assault her.”

In each of the three reported cases, Muhannad said the victims proved to be “more than the suspect was expecting, but there may be others who were not as fortunate to get away.

After his arrest Wednesday, authorities discovered Emerson was out on bond from Hale County for a similar sexual assault case and that he has a prior criminal history in Vermont.

Police are focusing their attention in the east Selma area, east of Martin Luther King Street and south of J.L. Chestnut Boulevard. Muhannad said the area is in close proximity to Emerson’s driving pattern. East Selma is also where the three kidnapping incidents occurred.

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