In Reynoldsburg, Ohio, a mother was having an ordinary day before she ran to her local Walmart to buy a few groceries. However, once she was finished and began to leave the parking lot, she noticed a person standing next to a nearby car mouthing something to her. Unfortunately, she was forced to slam on the brakes when she understood the six chilling words they were saying.
Tia Withers and her two kids were running some errands when they decided to stop at their local Walmart to get a few groceries. When they finished, they immediately got into their truck and began to drive away, hoping to go home. However, as soon as Tia glanced at a car nearby, she locked eyes with a woman and a young boy who were standing beside the vehicle nervously. Unfortunately, nothing could have prepared Tia for the six chilling words the woman mouthed to her that immediately forced her afternoon to take a terrifying turn.
The woman and boy were standing nervously beside the car next to Tia’s truck with a man. When the man turned away for a split second, the nervous woman looked over to Tia and mouthed the six chilling words: “Help me, we have been kidnapped.”
Tia was immediately put on edge, frantically trying to figure out a way to save the woman and child. While she panicked inside her head, she overheard the man demand that the woman and boy get back into his car “or else.” Of course, the nervous woman and the boy quickly obliged his demands.
That’s when Tia immediately took action to save them. She slammed on her brakes, stopping her truck directly in front of the man’s car in a desperate attempt to prevent him from pulling away. She picked up her phone and dialed 911 to inform them of the incident, praying they could intervene promptly.
Unfortunately, as soon as the man noticed what was going on, he didn’t hesitate to threaten to slam his vehicle right into Tia’s truck. She backed off from her efforts to stop him, to keep her own children safe after the man acted like he was going to ram her. However, she wasn’t going to let this man get away with the frightened woman and child. She immediately followed the truck, while relaying information to the 911 dispatcher about their whereabouts.
“He kidnapped this woman and boy, I’m trying to follow him, and he is by Walgreens now,” she said to the dispatcher, according to WCMH. “Please somebody help.”
Remarkably, the dispatcher was able to put two and two together after realizing that the woman who had been snatched by the kidnapper had managed to secretly dial 911 as well. Unfortunately, the kidnapping victim was unable to actually converse with the dispatcher without the man being alerted to her desperate phone call. Thankfully, the dispatcher was able to use both Tia’s account and what was being overheard from the woman’s call to eventually allow the police to catch up with and apprehend the man, who was later identified as Michael McKinney.
The victim was able to dial 911, but was not able to speak.
The 911 dispatcher reported to police, “We have an open 911 call going on we couldn’t get any information. In the Taylor Square Shopping Center, a guy keeps talking about a Western Union.”
[Tia] Withers also called 911. [Source: WCMH]
As it turns out, McKinney had abducted the woman and boy in North Carolina. He had managed to drive them all the way up to Ohio without being detected – that is until the kidnapped woman was able to alert Tia. Fortunately, the victims were unharmed and only suffered from emotional trauma from their experience. McKinney was recently charged with kidnapping, extortion, and drug possession.
This should teach us all a lesson to keep our eyes on the lookout for suspicious activity. If Tia hadn’t looked up and noticed something a bit off with the situation, there is a good chance this woman and boy would have been in serious trouble. There’s no telling what could have happened to them, considering this man was willing to take them several states away from their home. Of course, when some people spot unusual situations, they give the people the benefit of the doubt. However, it’s better to be cautious and potentially save someone from harm than to let it be and cost an innocent person their life. I always like to say, it’s better to be safe than sorry.