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Police arrest man accused of kidnapping Evansville woman

Sep 01, 2023

EVANSVILLE — The police arrested a man who stands accused of kidnapping, beating and threatening to kill an Evansville woman during a terrifying ride from the city to rural Vanderburgh County in late June.

The man, identified by Evansville police as 41-year-old William J. Wade, of Wadesville, is being held at the Vanderburgh County jail on a $2,500 cash bond. Wade was booked into the jail Wednesday after a judge issued a warrant for his arrest on July 10.

According to public records, he posted bond and was released later that day.

Prosecutors charged Wade with five counts, including criminal confinement with a deadly weapon, a Level 3 felony; kidnapping, a Level 3 felony, and domestic battery resulting in moderate bodily injury, a Level 6 felony.

According to Wade's arrest affidavit, an Evansville woman told detectives Wade stalked her, cajoled her into his truck and then refused to let her leave as he drove her north out of Downtown Evansville on June 30.

"She stated the (farther) away from downtown they got, the angrier he got," a detective wrote. "She advised she asked to get out of the truck by the time they got to about First Avenue, but he wouldn't let her."

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As Wade drove north, the woman said Wade called his mother and said, "I'm just going to f*****g kill her."

Detectives wrote that Wade struck the woman multiple times, threatened to kill the woman's family members, and claimed he would not go back to prison unless it was "for a good reason."

The woman reportedly told detectives she contemplated escaping from Wade's truck multiple times as he drove through Evansville, but didn't do so out of fear. The woman also claimed Wade patted her down, confiscated her phone and removed her keys from her pocket.

"She stated he threw her phone and keys out the window," the affidavit states. "She advised she believed he threw her phone to prevent her from calling the police."

Wade allegedly continued to drive north, eventually taking to backroads and cornfields in northern Vanderburgh County, at which point the woman attempted to flee Wade's truck. But the woman told detectives Wade pushed her back into the vehicle so violently she broke the truck's center console.

From there, Wade allegedly drove the woman to a rural patch of farmland replete with oil rigging hardware. He claimed "no one would find her body" at that location.

The woman reportedly told detectives that Wade then pulled out a box cutter, placed the blade against her neck and threatened to cut her throat. The woman said she was crying uncontrollably and begged Wade to stop.

After the incident, Wade reportedly drove the victim to an Arby's restaurant off of U.S. 41 because he was thirsty.

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Wade allegedly used the restaurant's drive-thru because he was worried the woman would escape — which she did. While in the drive through, the woman ran out of the truck and into the store, according to detectives.

The woman's family then contacted the police, and officers reported observing injuries to her face that matched her description of the attack.

Wade was scheduled to make his initial appearance in Vanderburgh County Circuit Court at 1 p.m.

Houston can be contacted at [email protected]

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