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Bethany ArceneauxLafayette, LA – A woman kidnapped by her violent ex-boyfriend was rescued by family members after they shot and killed her captor.

Last Wednesday, Bethany Arceneaux, 29, was abducted by her estranged boyfriend, Scott Thomas, who is also the father of their 2 year old son.  The kidnapping took place in a daycare parking lot as she was picking up their son.  A witness observed Bethany screaming, honking the horn and trying to fight off Thomas and begging someone to take the boy.  The witness, Derrimetrie Robinson, was able to take the child as Thomas shoved Bethany into his car and sped away.

That evening, police found Thomas’ white Buick near a field with one of Bethany’s shoes in it, but, other than that, there were no new leads and no sign of Bethany, until Friday. That’s when police and family were searching for her in the fields near where Thomas’ Buick was left, and residents gave the family members a tip about an abandoned house in a field nearby.  A neighbor and several of Bethany’s family members searched for the house on ATVs.

As they neared the house, which was barely visible since it was surrounded by sugar cane fields up to 8 feet tall, they could hear Bethany’s screams for help.  Rushing toward the house, they kicked down the door and witnessed Thomas stabbing Bethany.  At that point, a relative shot Thomas three times, killing him and saving Bethany’s life.  Police were also searching and were nearby when the shooting occurred.  The family was able to grab Bethany and flee the house.  SWAT members later entered the house to find Thomas dead.

Bethany is expected to make a full recovery, having been discharged from the hospital on Saturday.  She said she had no food or water for nearly three days.  The harrowing picture of her uncle carrying her to a car right after her rescue is quite telling.  You can see how pale she is, she looks so scared,  and she is holding clothing on her neck, making it appear as though she was stabbed in the neck, or perhaps Thomas attempted to slit her throat.  He was going to kill her.  The photo was taken by a photographer who was with the family on the search.

Not surprising, Thomas has a history of violence towards Bethany.  She had filed a restraining order against Thomas last June, saying that he had locked her in a house and threatened to kill both her and her son.

“He grabbed our son from me and shoved him into the car then got on his knees in front of the cops and said, ‘I swear to God, on all my children, I will kill you’ . . . . Since then, Scott has been riding around my mom’s house and my work looking for me.  I am afraid for me and my son’s life . . . He keeps threatening to kill us.  He put a knife to my neck countless times.”  There are also allegations that he had previously choked her, dragged her by her hair and held her and her son hostage.  He was arrested in August for violating the order and also charged with aggravated assault and aggravated flight from an officer.

This story is about as good as it gets here at DD.  Not only was her family extremely, um, “proactive” in finding her and saving her life, the woman who was able to save the 2 year old was a complete stranger.  I know a lot of us would like to think we would do the same in that situation, and maybe we would, but, one way or another, it took some guts for that woman to step in the middle of a very violent attack and save that child.  It’s not at all unusual for guys like this to kill the kid, too.

Some news outlets are saying the family took justice into their own hands, but I don’t see it that way.  They weren’t out for vengeance.  They were just looking for their missing loved one.  They found her, in the very act of being stabbed and they saved her.  As Bethany’s brother, Ryan, put it, “If we would have waited, she would have been dead.” Therefore, no charges have been filed against the family, and rightfully so.

Also called into question was why the family found her and not the police.  However, it was not for lack of trying on the police department’s part.  Police and family were all searching for her, even in the same area at the same time and the family came across her first.  Cpl. Paul Moulton of the Lafayette PD states, “While we were looking on one side, they were looking in another and they came upon her.  It just so happens where they were looking was where she was found.  If we weren’t looking at all and they were searching, that would be different.”  This sentiment is echoed in a short interview with Bethany’s uncle, who thanked the police department.

Lady saved, kid saved, bad guy dead.  That’s as heartwarming a story as you get from us.

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