Texas Man Arrested in Kansas Charged in Federal Court with Kidnapping
WICHITA, KS—A Texas man was charged with kidnapping in federal court in Wichita Monday, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.
Joseph Andrew DeRusse, 24, Austin, Texas, was charged in a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Wichita.
The complaint alleges that on Jan. 23, 2015, DeRusse kidnaped a victim identified as HMM. He intended to force her to spend three weeks with him at a bed and breakfast in Narka, Kan., during which time he intended to convince her to marry him. He is alleged to have abducted her at gunpoint in Austin. He handcuffed her and blindfolded her before driving her from Texas to Kansas. It was not until later she learned that the weapon was a BB gun.
DeRusse’s car was tracked by GPS during the drive to Kansas. On Friday, the Newton Police Department used the GPS information to find his car and pull him over on northbound I-135 at milepost 41, where they freed the victim. In the car, they found an engagement ring DeRusse had purchased.
If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of life in federal prison. The Newton Police Department and the FBI investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Smith is prosecuting.
In all cases, defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The indictments merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.