UPDATED: Panama City Police Searching For Abduction Suspect - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

UPDATED: Panama City Police Searching For Abduction Suspect

Posted: Updated:

Investigators from Panama City Police Department still aren't sure of a motive for a suspect who abducted a woman early Monday morning.

The man surprised a woman after getting off her shift at the Waffle House on 231 and Martin Luther King Boulevard before 5am Monday.

"At this point in the investigation it's very early," said Lieutenant Mark Laramore with the Panama City Police Department. "We are doing what we can in developing suspects."

The victim was able to retrieve her cell phone and call co-workers who located her and her vehicle less than a half a mile away in the workforce center parking lot. She was found bound in the back of her van. That van was seized by authorities.

"We are looking at forensic evidence collection items from the vehicle she was in," said Laramore.

Officials say this kind of scenario is a perfect storm for unsuspecting victims.

"The cover of darkness is an advantage," said Laramore. "A tactical advantage of a person that wants to do another person harm.

"To mitigate that risk it's a good idea to if you can leave with someone else."

It's age old advice, but authorities say make sure whether you're leaving your house or place of work have your keys in hand and be aware of your surroundings.

"Don't look down at the ground, don't look at that iPhone," said Laramore. "Look around and see what's going on around you, see who's around you, and don't be afraid to say 'no' to whoever is approaching you."

Fortunately, the victim in this case was not harmed. But, police say if you are ever in a situation where you're in fear of your life -- take action. 

"Don't hesitate," said Laramore. "Call 911 first so we can begin our route to you."


Panama City Police are searching for a man who police say abducted a woman as she was leaving work early Monday morning.

Shortly before 4:00 a.m., Panama City Police say a man forced her to drive against her will away from the Waffle House off of Martin Luther King Blvd and to park in the Mariner Plaza Shopping Center off of Highway 231.

The woman was bound and left inside her car where she later called her co-worker who located her and contacted police.

The Bay County Sheriffs Office assisted Panama City Police with setting up a perimeter around the shopping center parking lot and sent out a K-9 unit in search of the suspect.

If you have any information about this crime, please contact Detective Stephen Johnson with the Panama City Police Department at 850-872-3112 or you can report your tips anonymously to CrimeStoppers at 850-785-TIPS.