North Carolina

Woman escapes after SC abduction, but man grabs her again on drive to Maine, cops say

She thought the man was taking her to a nearby Walmart in South Carolina for detergent before heading to the laundromat.

But days later, police say they found her at a Super 8 Motel in Maine bruised and hiding behind dark sunglasses with a horrific story to tell.

The 33-year-old woman, identified only as A.B. in court documents, told law enforcement she was abducted, beaten and sexually assaulted during the two- to three-day drive from South Carolina to Maine. Her phone was also destroyed.

The woman’s alleged abuser and captor, Dustin Beach, 25, was arrested in a room at the motel, police say He was charged with kidnapping on Wednesday in Maine federal court.

“(Lewiston Police Department) personnel observed a female sitting in the lobby with large, dark sunglasses on. (Police) observed bruises on the female’s throat and chest,” the criminal complaint states. “The female appeared extremely nervous about LPD being at the hotel and expressed a desire to leave the hotel.”

Beach has not entered a plea yet and is due to appear in a federal courtroom in Maine on Thursday.

The South Carolina resident is already facing kidnapping and drug charges in his home state after he allegedly “assaulted a girlfriend with a bullwhip, a stick, a shotgun, and a pistol” earlier this year, police said.

Court documents depict a harrowing journey for the woman, who managed to call the police from the Motel 8 days after they allegedly arrived in Maine. Law enforcement responded to the call around 2:30 a.m. on July 25 and took her to a police vehicle, where she reported the ordeal.

Beach refused to let the woman go because she knew he was wanted, police say. She told police that he wielded a knife in an altercation with another driver early on during the forced drive.

His truck also got stuck in the mud on I-95, and when a North Carolina state trooper pulled up, “A.B. believed she was going to be rescued,” the complaint states.

But the trooper, whom police later interviewed, said he couldn’t see anyone else in the truck.

The woman said Beach also held her face underwater in a salvage yard until she passed out, hit her with a metal hammer and bit her nose, according to the criminal complaint.

“She was struck multiple times over the course of this encounter with multiple objects including hammer, metal chain, and the ripped out center console of his truck,” hospital records included in the court documents show. “He also made several cuts on her legs with knife.”

According to the complaint, A.B. was able to briefly escape at a rest stop in Maryland while Beach was sleeping in the truck and “asked several individuals for help but was unsuccessful in obtaining assistance.”

Beach denied physically and sexually assaulting the woman, the complaint says, telling police instead that it was consensual and that her injuries happened before the trip.

Police later discovered his pending South Carolina charges. According to court documents, Beach was released on bail and given a GPS ankle monitor but he cut the monitor off. A warrant for his arrest was issued July 19.

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Hayley is a Real Time reporter at The Charlotte Observer covering breaking news and trending stories in the Carolinas. She also created the Observer’s unofficial bird beat (est. 2015) with a summer full of ornithological-related content, including a story about Barred Owls in love.