Kidnapping victim survives being thrown off bridge

Posted at 9:16 AM, Dec 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-27 09:16:07-05

LITTLE ROCK, AR (KARK/CNN) - Authorities said a woman who witnessed a deadly shooting was thrown off a bridge and into the Arkansas River. She survived the ordeal. 

Deputies in Lonoke County responded to a home in Scott early Christmas morning after they say two men forced their way into the home and started shooting people.

Deputies found 49-year-old Arlin Wayne Bugent dead and another man seriously injured from a gunshot wound.

Investigators said a 42-year-old woman who witnessed the shooting was kidnapped.

Little Rock Police, who found the woman, said she was thrown off Interstate 430 near Cantrell into the Arkansas River. She swam to shore for help as temperatures fell to around 32 degrees.

While authorities search for a second suspect, deputies have arrested 33-year-old Richard Gilliam on various charges including capital murder and kidnapping.

The woman was taken to the hospital, where she was treated for hypothermia. 

"(She was) trying to improve things, so she had a pretty good outlook on what she was doing," Ronnie Fink, the kidnapping victim's former neighbor.

He said the woman, whose name wasn't released, was always trying to make her old neighborhood better.

"(I) told her I appreciated her trying to build her yard up and improve it cause anything she can improve in her yard helps the neighborhood," Fink said.

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