PENNSDALE - Within an hour after a woman was abducted by an ex-boyfriend outside her job site near the Lycoming Mall late Wednesday morning, the victim was rescued by Muncy Township Police Chief Christopher McKibben, who arrested the kidnapper at gunpoint.
The combination of a concerned boss who knew something wasn't right, a 911 call from the victim that abruptly ended and quick action by McKibben very likely prevented a harrowing ordeal from resulting in a tragedy.
With duct tape and a large knife, Aaron Jonathan Morrison had locked himself in his father's car with the 19-year-old victim and driven her to a remote dead-end road just south of Muncy.
PHILIP A. HOLMES/Sun-Gazette
Aaron Jonathan Morrison, 23, is charged with kidnapping his ex-girlfriend on Wednesday.
"You are going to make me do something with a knife that I'm going to regret," Morrison, 23, told the terrified woman.
However, before the victim, Keshia Trimble, was harmed, McKibben pulled up on the scene, jumped out of his cruiser and ordered Morrison to get out of the vehicle.
Morrison, of 2340 Roosevelt Ave., Old Lycoming Township, was taken into custody without incident and was charged with felony kidnapping, false imprisonment, terroristic threats, simple assault and harassment.
He is accused of abducting Trimble as she arrived at her job at Hoopla's Family Fun and Grill, 1277 Lycoming Mall Circle, about 10:45 a.m., McKibben said.
The chief said if he did not arrive on the scene when he did, he believed Morrison would have assaulted the woman.
"I certainly believe he would have harmed her," McKibben said of Morrison.
Morrison and Trimble had been dating for about three months, but the relationship ended about two weeks ago, McKibben said he was told. During the abduction, the woman feared for her life and thought Morrison would "kill her," McKibben said in an affidavit.
As Trimble arrived at Hoopla's, Morrison confronted her and told her "he wanted to talk. However, she told him she didn't have time and that she needed to get to work," McKibben said.
"Morrison grabbed her, picked her up and threw her in the back seat of the car he was driving. He got in the driver's seat, locked the doors and drove away," McKibben said.
Using her cellphone, Trimble called her boss, Marlee Roles, and told her she would not make it to work.
"Roles told me that Keshia seemed very upset and was very short on the telephone," McKibben said.
Trimble's call made little sense to Roles since another employee, Carol Digankis, told Roles that "she had passed Trimble driving into work and had waved to her," McKibben said.
Roles then went outside and was surprised to discover Trimble's vehicle parked at the back of the building. "The doors were locked and the keys were still in the ignition. Roles made several attempts to reach Trimble on her cellphone, but did not get a response," McKibben said. Roles then called McKibben directly.
When the chief arrived at Hoopla's, he checked the hood of Trimble's car. It still was warm. The officer saw what appeared to be a packed lunch on the passenger seat. He checked a house next to the business, but there was no sign of Trimble. He alerted a 911 dispatcher to what he was investigating - situation where there was a real concern for the woman's safety.
Minutes later, the 911 center received an anonymous call from a woman on a cellphone who said she needed help. The line then went dead. The center believed it likely was related to McKibben's investigation and alerted him to the call.
The center was able to trace the call to Peter Gray Road, a dead-end street off of the Susquehanna Trail south of Muncy. McKibben raced to the remote area at fast as he could. It was there that the kidnapping ended and the alleged abductor was captured.
Following his arraignment before District Judge Jon E. Kemp, Morrison was committed to the Lycoming County Prison in lieu of $200,000 bail.