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2009-09-17 digital edition

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2009-09-17 / Front Page

Kidnapper Leads Officers on 11-Hour Chase

An accused kidnapper led four different law enforcement agencies and sixteen officers, along with one DPS helicopter, on a chase that lasted 11.5 hours last Saturday, September 12.

At approximately 4 a.m. last Saturday morning, officers from the Giddings Police Department met with a female victim who reported that she had been kidnapped from her home and held captive since around 10 p.m. the night before. She reported that she was at her residence and was awakened by the suspect at about 10 p.m. as he entered through a window. The suspect forced her to leave the residence with him. The abductor took the victim from Giddings to Bastrop and then to Lake Somerville. The victim knew the suspect as Kenneth Simpson, 31 of Giddings. He took her to his residence located approximately four miles north of Giddings on FM 141. While at his residence, Simpson attempted to set his house on fire. The victim was then released by Simpson and she immediately went to the Giddings Police Department.

Officers with the Giddings PD and Lee County Sheriff's Office went to the residence and reported smelling something burning when they arrived. The Giddings Fire Department was called. In the meantime, entry was made into the residence, but Simpson was not found. The Fire Department confirmed that a small fire had smothered itself out.

A Giddings PD officer later went to speak with Simpson's neighbors on FM 141. Upon arrival, the officer observed Simpson quickly exit the residence and then quickly turn back into the residence. As the officer took a tactical position, he observed that the residence was on fire again. Giddings Fire Department responded and suppressed the fire. Simpson was not found in the residence and it was later learned that he had exited through a back window.

When officers from GPD and LCSO began canvassing the area, a foot pursuit ensued. Simpson led officers on a 2-mile chase where he was able to gain seclusion in a wooded creek area. He was not located.

Because of multiple crime scenes at different locations, a joint investigation began with Giddings Police Department, DPS, Texas Rangers, and Lee County Sheriff's Office.

Later that afternoon Giddings Fire Department was dispatched to the victim's residence where it was believed that Simpson had ignited a fire in a closet. A DPS Helicopter was requested, along with blood hounds from Texas Department of Corrections.

A sighting of Simpson was reported on CR 117 at around 3:30 that afternoon. The DPS helicopter obtained a visual of Simpson and led officers to his location.

A foot pursuit began with Simpson running from Texas Ranger Jimmy Schroeder. A physical altercation took place between Simpson and the Ranger. Other officers arrived and assisted with the apprehension. Simpson was transported to the Lee County Jail where he was charged with Burglary of a Habitation and Aggravated Kidnapping.

Simpson has been arrested for multiple felony offenses and had been released on parole in 2008 from TDCJ.

Involved in the case were Chief Dennis Rotman, Captain Earl Pence, Lt. Dan Harney, Officer Farrah Ramsey, Officer Joseph Harrison, Officer Anthony Ramirez, Officer B.J. Connally and Officer Steve Spencer with the Giddings Police Department; Sheriff Rodney Meyer, Chief Deputy Charles Kothmann, Captain Adam Gonzalez, Deputy Michael York, Deputy Nathan Lapham and Deputy Garrett Durrenberger with the Lee County Sheriff 's Department; Texas Ranger Jimmy Schroeder; Trooper Robert Thorp and a D.P.S Helicopter.

Sheriff Rodney Meyer said, "May I say that it was a combined effort by these agencies and officers in apprehending the suspect. Job well done."

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