Woman speaks out after violent 13-hour kidnapping ordeal
A woman who was allegedly held captive on a 400-kilometre drive alongside another woman and two young boys has broken her silence about the “terrible” 13-hour ordeal.
The 71-year-old said she had “a lot of recovering” to do after allegedly being taken from her home in Ootha, near Condobolin, which was burned to the ground in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Police allege the house was stormed by an armed trio, who knocked her 68-year-old partner unconscious, locked him inside, doused the house in accelerant and loaded her, a 41-year-old woman and two teenagers into a green 4WD.
“He wouldn’t let us go and he wouldn’t let me get help,” the woman, who has not been identified for legal reasons, said.
She said her partner must have “one of the thickest heads”.
“You’ve got no idea,” she added.
Adam McKay, 23, Samuel Towney, 29, and Jason McKay, 44 have been charged with a string of offences over the alleged kidnapping, which ended more than 400 kilometres in Sydney’s north west.
The 71-year-old was able to escape with the boys on Putty Road, near Como, and ran to the nearest home to alert police.
She said the 41-year-old woman with her showed extreme bravery and helped ensure their release by asking to stop the car for a toilet break.
“[She] was absolutely incredible and her actions obviously helped to save us.
“I really think she deserves a medal for that.”
The 41-year-old was not freed along with the others and spent another few hours allegedly detained with McKay.
Police tracked them using thermal imaging and police dogs to bushland in Blaxlands Ridge.
The 44-year-old emerged from the thick scrub in handcuffs with a bloodied face and a limp about 11.30am.
The 71-year-old thanked police who she described as being “absolutely awesome”.
“The angels were there I tell you,” she said.
She was also grateful to motorists who helped police trace their location.
“I’d just like to thank all the people who informed police of us driving past them on that journey.”
The alarm was raised about the alleged kidnapping after the 68-year-old man “locked inside the burning home” made an “extraordinary escape” and drove his tractor to a neighbour’s house.
Neighbour Jason Hocking said the man told him he had been “bashed, tied up and gagged”.
“He sort of really couldn’t remember too much of anything,” Mr Hocking told 9News.
“I just kept talking to him because he was falling in and out of consciousness.”
Police feared the four people may have perished in the fire until a green 4WD linked to the alleged kidnapping was sighted west of Sydney near Windsor.
McKay and Towney, from Cardiff South and Mayfield West in Newcastle respectively, leaped from the vehicle before being surrounded by police in a clearing near Sackville, north west of Sydney.
They raised their hands and dropped to their knees as they were swarmed.
All three men have been charged with various offences including kidnapping, aggravated bodily harm, attempted murder by arson and use of a weapon.
The younger two were refused bail to appear in court on December 17.
McKay was not brought up from the holding cells at Parramatta Local Court when his matter was heard on Thursday.
His lawyer, Angelo Billias, did not apply for bail and it was formally refused.