Friday, July 10, 2009

TOP STORY >> Deadly kidnapping, chase stun area

Leader staff writer

The search for a young woman kidnapped from Ward ended early Friday morning after a Garland County Sheriff’s Department sniper killed her abductor after he allegedly shot and killed her.

The 18-year-old Hot Springs woman was visiting Ward relatives when Todd Bostian, 32, her ex-boyfriend, abducted her Wednesday evening.

Sheriff’s deputy Judy Daniels said that although it is believed that Bostian, who was from the Hot Springs area, shot Kasey Meyers, as well as Ronda Keck, they can’t say for certain how Meyers died until ballistic tests are finished. Preliminary reports should be available in about a week, she said.

“We want to make sure that’s how it happened,” she said. “Let’s don’t say he did all this until we know for sure.”

Deputies exchanged fire with Bostian when he came out of the Keck home at Lake Hamilton, using the two women as shields.

He’d been hiding out with Meyers at the Kecks’ home.

Daniels said Bostian was in Lake Hamilton when he was shot. Divers recovered the bullet-proof vest he was wearing when he went into the water, she said.

Keck’s husband, Mike, reportedly met Bostian at the racetrack and was only a casual acquaintance. Neighbors alerted the sheriff’s department that Bostian was at the Keck home when they saw the stolen Ford Mustang he was reported to be driving.

Mrs. Keck was shot in the leg.

The deaths were the culmination of a two-day crime spree that began early Wednesday morning and included house break-ins and multiple car thefts.

Bostian was reportedly in Ward Wednesday evening when he pulled a gun on a man who lived near the mobile home where Myers was staying, after the man confronted him for being on his property. Bostian reportedly left after the man’s wife began to cry.

The intensive manhunt after Bostian kidnapped Meyers, who had reportedly known Bostian for only a short time and was five months pregnant with another man’s baby, involved several local law enforcement agencies, the state police, federal marshals and the FBI.

Chief Dean White of the Lonoke County Sheriff’s Department said several local agencies including Cabot, Beebe and the sheriff’s department helped search for Bostian Wednesday evening. Witnesses said he intended to take Myers to a motel, so police from Beebe and Cabot searched the motels there while the sheriff’s department searched in secluded rural areas where Bostian could have gone to be alone with Myers.

Ward Police Chief Charlie Martin said Myers had been at her aunt’s house on Emily Circle for two days when Bostian apparently forced her to leave. But reports on Thursday indicated that she did not attempt escape while Bostian bought a cell phone at Walmart with a credit card stolen from a North Little Rock woman during a home-intrusion robbery where he locked the elderly woman in a closet.

“He got into the truck on the passenger side,” Martin said.

The hunt for Bostian started Wednesday morning before daybreak when Sherwood police began pursuing three suspects who had broken into two homes in the Woodruff Creek subdivision.

For those crimes, Jimmy Sykes, 19, and Adam Whittaker, 25, were arrested in a Cadillac reportedly stolen in Little Rock.

Sherwood police recovered a stolen Honda Element and spotted Bostian at a restaurant around noon Wednesday.

Bostian reportedly fled in a stolen blue Dodge pickup and caused a minor wreck in the McCain Mall parking lot. He abandoned the pickup in the North Hills area, where he then stole a Buick from a resident, leaving her locked in the closet.

He was seen leaving Walmart as a passenger in a green Dodge pickup with a ball hitch on the back and trash in the bed.