In the early morning hours, shortly after the bars close and the police expect to find a number of intoxicated drivers trying to make it home in one piece, Michigan State Troopers noticed a car swerving in and out of it’s lane. Fully expecting a drunk driver, officers pulled the car over. But what they discovered was something far more dangerous….
Daniel Louis Symons did what so many other people do nowadays when searching for a potential dating partner – create a dating profile on the internet. The difference between Symons’ profile and most other people’s was the fact that his was entirely false. Using another man’s picture along with a fictitious name, he created a profile claiming he was looking for a submissive partner.
A 22-year-old woman from Okemos responded and the pair communicated online before agreeing to meet. But the location they agreed to meet in was remote, and the young woman got into his car before being certain that he was in fact who he claimed to be.
It was not until she was already inside the car that the woman realized that Symons looked nothing like his picture. And his conversation wasn’t nearly as friendly as it had been online. She demanded that he stop and let her get out. Symons refused. In fact, the Craigslist kidnapper had different ideas entirely.
Symons bound and gagged the woman and tossed her into his backseat. But the woman was furious and terrified, and rightly so, and decided not to go passively. She fought and kicked at him wildly, kicking both Symons and the driver’s seat of the vehicle. And it was this struggle that caused the Craigslist kidnapper to swerve out of his lane and attract police attention.
According to Lieutenant David Kaiser, as the troopers approached the vehicle they could hear a woman calling for help. After investigating the inside of the vehicle, officers found the woman on the backseat. She had a bag over her head, duct tape across her mouth and her hands zip tied behind her back.
Symons was immediately arrested, and has been charged with kidnapping and assault by strangulation. According to police, the young woman was frightened but unharmed. Officers said she refused medical treatment.
Kidnapping is a very serious felony under Michigan law. If convicted, a person can be sentenced to prison for up to life, or any number of years. They could also be fined up to $50,000. Assault by strangulation, also a felony, is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.