(MADISON CO, NE) Vern Hjorth has been the sheriff in Madison County, Nebraska for 30 years...
"We've seen a lot of bizarre things in 30 years in this county but this rank up right up among them," says Vern Hjorth, Madison County Sheriff.
Police say it started out as a domestic dispute between 49-year-old Kevin Heldt and his soon-to-be ex-wife 49-year-old Rhonda Heldt at their home in Tilden, Nebraska. It ended at an abandoned farm house off a rural back road of Madison County just southwest of Meadow Grove. Early Monday Morning Sheriff Hjorth received the call.
"She was reported missing by her son who came home from being out with friends and noticed the house was in disarray. So he just took it upon himself to call the police because he just automatically thought there was something wrong," says Hjorth.
And he was right, police saw signs of a struggle inside the house and that Rhonda had been forced to leave against her will. Immediately police and deputies began looking for her husband Kevin.
But just before the Sheriff's office and the Nebraska State Patrol could begin a massive search by air, they got word Rhonda had been found. A local resident picked her up on the side of the road and then called 911.
"She had a black eye on the time and she was taken to the Antelope Memorial Medical Hospital and she was given an exam. She had multiple bruises and multiple abrasions and she had sustained quite an ordeal," says Hjorth.
She told police Kevin had taken her to this farmhouse and held her hostage but while he wasn't looking she was able to get away. Two deputies located him in a hole he had dug himself near the farmhouse.
"We tased him, he was tased on two different occasions. The first taser, one barb stuck and one did not so the deputy sheriff automatically reloaded his taser and tased him again," says Hjorth.
Second time worked. Deputies were able to arrest him and take him into custody. He's being held in the Madison County Jail.
Rhonda Heldt had a protection order against her husband. The sheriff says Mr. Heldt violated that order three separate times.
Heldt faces a range of charges, including kidnapping, terroristic threats, protection order violation, and meth possession.