Kidnap charge expected

Terror-filled drive across state told

PORT TOWNSEND — A Tacoma woman suspected of kidnapping and assaulting another woman is expected to be charged in the Jefferson County Superior Court today.

Laura Ashley Silva, 31, is expected to be charged with first-degree kidnapping armed with a firearm-domestic violence and second-degree assault armed with a firearm-domestic violence, after allegedly kidnapping and beating a former girlfriend of hers, authorities said.

First-degree kidnapping is a Class A felony, punishable by up to life in prison and/or a $50,000 fine, while second-degree assault is a Class B felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine.

Silva has been held in the Jefferson County jail without bail since Thursday and remained there on Tuesday.

She was arrested late Thursday evening after a Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputy and a detective answered a call from a woman regarding an altercation with her on-and-off girlfriend, Silva, at the Hoh Oxbow campground in Forks, according to a probable cause report by Detective Joe Pursely.

While en route to the campground, they received a report of a subsequent vehicle crash and that the driver had assaulted a passenger, the report said.

Once Pursely and Deputy Gene Hoagland arrived at the scene of the crash and the nearby campground, they found a woman who was visibly shaking and upset, with her shirt ripped and clothes dirty and torn, the report said.

She told investigators that Silva had held her against her will, hit her multiple times and chased her with a hammer, the report said.

Pursely found a black mallet at the campsite that the woman said Silva had chased her with, he said in his report.

Silva also reportedly swung at the woman with a large stick during the altercation, and when she tried to flee, Silva allegedly grabbed her shirt and pressed what the victim believed to be a gun into her back saying, “You know what this is. I’m going to kill you,” the report said.

The woman said Silva had pointed a gun and threatened her with it in the past before Thursday’s altercation, the report said.

A firearm was located inside Silva’s vehicle after the sheriff’s office obtained a search warrant, the report said.

Silva allegedly tried to force the woman into her car. When she broke free, Silva allegedly grabbed the woman’s dog and sped away in the car before crashing into a 10-foot-deep ravine nearby, the report said.

The woman ran to the car, grabbed her dog, and when Silva refused help, she fled back into the campgrounds, where two witnesses of their argument and the crash found her. One stayed with her while the other went to help and stay with Silva, the report said.

When one of the witnesses found the woman, she said, “Please don’t let her find me or she’ll kill me,” the report said.

In a later interview with the victim, Pursely was told that the pair was traveling from Michigan to Washington. When they crossed the Idaho border, they stopped at a gas station where Silva reportedly took the woman’s phone, ID, credit cards and money from her, the report said.

In the next two weeks leading up to Thursday’s arrest, Silva allegedly assaulted the woman several times and threatened to kill her, the report said.

At a hotel in Ellensburg, the woman tried to use her phone while Silva was in the shower, but Silva reportedly attacked her before she could. Silva then told her that her new name was “Lucky,” like a dog, and forced her to lay under a desk in the corner of the room, the report said.

While traveling, the woman left a note at a campsite on Mount Rainier pleading for help. The note was found by local law enforcement, but they were unable to immediately identify the author.

A Facebook post was created in an attempt to identify the woman, the report said.

The woman tried to escape from Silva numerous times but was unsuccessful until Thursday, the report said.

The investigation continued Tuesday.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is urged to contact Pursley at [email protected], Sgt. Brett Anglin said in a social media post Monday.

_______

Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5, or at [email protected]

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