Laura Johnson, 34, reportedly convinced a triple-murder suspect to surrender to authorities after he kidnapped her at gunpoint and forced her to drive him 2,000 miles from Oregon to Wisconsin
A woman who was kidnapped at gunpoint by a triple murder suspect who forced her to drive him 2,000 miles from Oregon to Wisconsin was able to convince the suspect to turn himself in to authorities during the 33-hour long drive, her family say.
Oen Evan Nicholson, 30, approached Laura Johnson, 34, as she was sitting in her car texting her boyfriend outside of a Springfield, Oregon, store where she worked on Friday and held her at gunpoint to force her to drive him north to Wisconsin, police said.
Hours earlier Nicholson allegedly murdered his father at a campground before mowing down a couple in his truck – killing one of them – and then fatally shooting a woman at a marijuana dispensary.
Johnson’s family and friends said they lost contact with the mother-of-two on Friday afternoon and learned around 11pm that she’d never returned from her lunch break, KEZI reported.
The Springfield Police Department released surveillance footage showing Johnson’s black Honda leaving the parking lot and asked the public for help to locate her.
By 6am Sunday Johnson’s father Dennis said he received a call from the Milwaukee Police Department that his daughter was found safe and unharmed.
‘They said she was forced to drive 33 hours to where they’re at,’ Dennis told KEZI. ‘She was able to talk him into turning himself in.’
Oen Evan Nicholson, 30, pictured here in surveillance footage, is accused of killing his father, and two others in North Bend, Oregon on Friday
Springfield, Oregon police confirmed on Sunday that missing woman Laura Johnson was kidnapped by Nicholson and was found safe and unharmed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Surveillance footage showed Johnson’s car pulling out of a parking lot during her lunch break from work on Friday. She was later reported missing
Coos County District Attorney Paul Frasier confirmed Sunday morning that Nicholson had surrendered to local authorities, and he is now facing murder and assault charges.
Officials alleged that Nicholson killed his father, Charles Simms Nicholson, whose body was found in a trailer in the RV campground of The Mill Casino in North Bend, as well as Anthony Oyster and Jennifer Davidson.
Nicholson allegedly ran over Oyster, 74, and his wife Linda, 73, using his father’s pickup truck in the same RV campground where his father was found.
Oyster died of his injuries, while Linda was critically-injured. He then allegedly shot Davidson at a nearby marijuana dispensary.
Police have not released details on how Nicholson’s father was killed.
Authorities say Nicholson killed his father, Charles Simms Nicholson, as well as Anthony Oyster at an RV campground outside the Mills Casino in North Bend (pictured above). Nicholson allegedly ran over Oyster and his wife Linda with his father’s pickup truck. Linda remains in critical condition
Surveillance footage captured Nicholson outside a marijuana dispensary brandishing a gund nearby in North Bend where he allegedly shot and killed another woman, Jennifer Davidson
He is also believed to have abandoned his father’s truck after crashing it in Oregon on Friday, before approaching Johnson in Springfield, about 100 miles northeast of North Bend, and forcing her to drive the remainder of the way to Milwaukee, the Springfield Police Department reported on Sunday.
Johnson was reported missing on Friday, but was safe as of Sunday, the department reported, and charges regarding her alleged abduction were pending against him.
Authorities say Nicholson did not know Johnson at the time of her abduction.
She returned to Oregon on Sunday, but her car will remain in Milwaukee for further investigation.
Dennis Johnson said that when he heard the news and was first able to hear his daughter’s voice again, he could not stop telling her how much he loved her.
‘Me and my wife both feel amazing,’ he told KEZI, ‘and what a Father’s Day gift that was handed back to me.’
A Gofundme was set up to pay for Davidson’s (left) funeral expenses. Davidson was allegedly shot inside Herbal Choices Cannabis (right), where she worked
Nicholson is now being held in Wisconsin on fugitive warrants from Oregon. He was charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of his father, Oyster and Davidson as well as second-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault and failing to help a person injured in a traffic accident, Frasier said.
A Gofundme was set up to help pay for Davidson’s funeral expenses.
No motive for the killings has been given.
Nicholson will appear in court in Milwaukee in the coming days before he can be extradited to Oregon to face the charges.
It remains unclear whether Nicholson has an attorney who can speak on his behalf.
Frasier said Nicholson’s extradition could take weeks if he contests it.
‘Words fall short of describing the tragedy that took place on Friday and the ensuing events in Lane County, and we are all left incredibly shaken,’ North Bend Mayor Jessica Engelke told reporters at a news conference on Sunday. ‘This is something you hope never happens in your community, in the town you call home.’