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Woman abducted, beaten by drug dealer in Witcher Creek, police say

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A young woman was kidnapped, beaten, cut, and abandoned on a Kanawha County mountain by a known drug dealer and his girlfriend, West Virginia State Police said Saturday.

Sgt. L. G. O'Bryan, commander of the State Police Detachment in Quincy, said Joey Keith Jeffrey, 44, allegedly abducted the victim at knifepoint from Witcher Creek early Saturday and forced her into a black Dodge truck where his girlfriend, Cindy Leanne Creathers, 37, was waiting. All three people are from Witcher Creek and know each other.

They drove her to a hilltop in the Witcher Creek area where O'Bryan believes they beat and cut the victim, who is in her 20s. Police are not releasing the victim's name.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Kanawha County Magistrate Court, they threatened, "to kill the bitch." Jeffrey also threatened "to drop her in a hole where no one could find her," according to the complaint.

The victim told police while she was in the vehicle, Jeffrey and Creathers kept hitting her while she was sitting in the middle seat, according to the complaint. The victim also told police that Creathers put a brown and white knife to her throat and told her to "keep her mouth shut," according to the complaint.

Creathers allegedly cut at the victim's throat after she made that statement, according to the complaint.

After beating the victim and cutting her in several places on the face, neck, and shoulders, she was "left in the mud," O'Bryan said. Somehow, the woman managed to walk off the mountain and get help. The victim told police that her attackers also took her coat and shoes. 

O'Bryan said another Witcher Creek resident saw the abduction and called 911. Police were looking for the victim when she emerged from the hillside.

The victim was admitted to CAMC after she suffered "significant injuries," O'Bryan said. She also had defensive wounds to her hands. The victim told police she was also beaten with an ax handle.

The victim told police she did not call 911 for her injuries because she "thought she had warrants for her arrest and was scared."

O'Bryan and other police officers are still investigating the motive of the abduction and assault, but he said, "there is a certain drug element involved."

Police filed for search warrants for Jeffrey's vehicle, his room at the Knight's Inn -- where he is said to frequent -- and for his residence, O'Bryan said. Police spotted his vehicle at the inn and blocked it in. At that time, police thought the victim could be with the couple. They found bloody napkins and clothes in his truck.

Police arrested Jeffrey and Creathers at the Knight's Inn in Kanawha City at about noon Saturday.

Troopers received help from members of the Kanawha County Sheriff's Department and the Charleston Police Department.

Magistrate Parris Workman arraigned Jeffrey and Creathers for felony kidnapping and malicious wounding charges.

Both are being held at South Central Regional without bond.

A preliminary hearing is set for Dec. 17.

O'Bryan said they could face additional charges, depending on how prosecutors view the case.

O'Bryan said, "These violent drug related cases are becoming all too common, but they are unacceptable." He also said Jeffrey has a long history "as a known drug dealer."  

Reach Susan Williams at susanwilliams@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5112.


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