At least one suspect in the abduction of a Las Vegas woman Monday planned to chain her inside a New Mexico cave and “brainwash her to be his wife,” according to arrest reports obtained Thursday by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The woman was found injured but alive Monday night inside a van in New Mexico during a traffic stop, the reports said. Las Vegas police had traced one of her suspected abductor’s phones to the area and notified New Mexico police.
The kidnapping happened about 10:30 a.m. Monday at the woman’s 4201 S. Decatur Blvd. apartment, just south of Flamingo Road. A witness saw a woman bound by chains and wearing only underwear being dragged into a white van by a man later identified as Jack Morgan, 31, the woman’s ex-boyfriend, police said.
Arriving officers found signs of a struggle at the apartment, including a Taser and a knife left at the scene, the reports said. The Metropolitan Police Department later identified the woman kidnapped as Jane Priebe, 28.
An extensive search ensued. Metro notified federal and nearby state authorities, and electronic signs on the valley’s major highways ran an abduction alert with a description of the van that left the scene — white with Texas plates.
About 11 p.m. Monday, a New Mexico police officer stopped a similar van after Metro alerted them to the phone records. As the officer approached the van, “he could hear screaming and yelling ‘help me,’” the reports said.
Priebe was found inside, hunched over, with her wrists handcuffed and her legs bound by padlocked chains. She was “emotionally distraught” and “hysterical,” the reports detailed.
Morgan was driving the van and taken into custody on charges of kidnapping, false imprisonment and conspiracy. Another suspect, Sophie Brown, 19, was also in the van and arrested on the same charges; Metro initially identified Brown as a man, but the report indicated Brown identified as a woman.
During an interview with police, Priebe told officers she and Morgan dated in college and “for a while after” but had since “cut ties.”
“As would be expected (Priebe) was extremely emotional at times of the interview and cried much,” the reports said. “She expressed extreme fear of (Morgan) and is terrified he will find her and kill her.”
During the trip from Las Vegas to New Mexico, Brown explained to Priebe the abduction plan she and Morgan had worked on for “approximately a year and three months,” Priebe told police.
Brown told Priebe that she and Morgan had created fake social media accounts to “track, follow and stalk” Priebe during the planning period, Priebe told police. The final destination was the New Mexico cave.
A week before the abduction, Morgan convinced Priebe to get coffee with him. After the brief meeting, Brown followed Priebe home to learn where she lived.
“When they could not locate the exact apartment number (Brown) pretended to be collecting donations for a church” to find the right unit, the reports said.
When Morgan abducted Priebe, he “choked her approximately six times rendering her unconscious,” the reports said. Morgan had been trained in mixed martial arts, and during the kidnapping, he got on top of her, tried to hogtie her, but as Priebe resisted, he instead “used a full roll of duct tape” around her mouth, neck and hair.
The attack left Priebe with lacerations and abrasions on her arms, leg, neck and face. During the ride to New Mexico, she was chained to a wheel well in the back of the van.
Brown later told police she knew what Morgan was doing was “wrong” but she “did not want to disobey” him.
Both Morgan and Brown are being held in New Mexico on $100,000 cash bail only. A preliminary hearing is scheduled Feb. 15 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Review-Journal reporter Wesley Juhl contributed to this story. Contact Rachel Crosby at email@example.com or 702-387-5290. Follow @rachelacrosby on Twitter.