A Umatilla Grand Jury has indicted a Hermiston man on charges related to an alleged kidnapping in which the suspect allegedly kept his victim in a van for several days.
Jeremy Jeppeson, 42, was indicted on charges of second-degree kidnapping and felony strangulation among others.
The Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office (UCSO) responded on Nov. 17 to a report of a kidnapping victim who had escaped and ran for help at The Short Stop gas station on E. Punkin Center Road in Hermiston.
When a sheriff’s deputy arrived, a 32-year-old female from the state of Washington reported that her ex-boyfriend, Jeppeson, had kidnapped her three days prior at a residence in Pendleton. According to the woman, Jeppeson had kept her in a tan Ford Windstar van, refusing to let her leave his side.
According to the UCSO, the female was able to escape from Jeppeson’s custody when they had parked at The Short Stop to sell some items.
The female told the deputy that she and Jeppeson had been at a residence when an argument occurred and she had attempted to leave. Jeppeson then grabbed her by her hair and dragged her back into the residence. Since then they had been living in his van outside of town, staying on the back roads between Pendleton and Hermiston. She said she had attempted escape several times, with no success and each time Jeppeson threatened to kill her.
On Nov. 18 at approximately 12:50 p.m., a Pendleton Police Department officer located the vehicle and Jeppeson in Pendleton. Jeppeson was arrested on a detention warrant that had been issued by his probation officer for probation violation out of Hood River County.
UCSO detective’s investigation into this case resulted in further charges being added while Jeppeson was in custody at the Umatilla County Jail.
On Nov. 21 the grand jury indicted Jeppeson on the charges of second-degree kidnapping, three counts of felony coercion, menacing, fourth-degree assault, and second-degree disorderly conduct.