Sheriff: Woman escapes kidnapper when his car gets stuck in mud

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BELLINGHAM, Wash. — The ordeal started Super Bowl Sunday.

Sometime after the game, investigators say, a white man in his 40s kidnapped a woman in Bellingham.

“I hate it. It’s awful. It’s an awful feeling and you would never want that to be someone you know,” neighbor Sarah Buiter said.

Somehow, police say, the man managed to get the woman into his car, then drove nearly 20 miles to a rural area near the town of Everson.

His car got stuck in the mud on the side of the road near the corner of Sorenson Road and north Telegraph Road.

While the suspect tried to free his vehicle, investigators say, the woman was able to escape and run to a nearby house for help.

By the time deputies arrived, the man and his car were gone.

Brendan Vanbeek lives right across the street.

"We woke up and were getting ready for work and there was a knock at the door and two sheriffs came out. There were lights flashing here and up the road and they said there was this … driver and someone had pulled him out of the ditch and they were looking for who it was that pulled him out,” Vanbeek said.

Investigators believe someone may have seen the car on the side of the road and helped the driver.

If you can remember seeing anything post-Super Bowl until about 5:30 a.m. Monday and can describe the car or the driver, you're asked to call 911.

Until he is caught, neighbors like Buiter will worry about their safety.

"It terrifies me, and my husband and I have talked about certain scenarios of what I would do or whatever the case is, and we just keep us as safe as we can and hope to God that's enough,” Buiter said.

Police have not released the victim’s name or her condition. The good news is, though beaten badly, she was able to run and get help, possibly saving her own life.

Police hope neighbors or passersby can help identify the man so they can catch him before he can hurt anyone else.

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