A missing Arizona woman who was allegedly kidnapped by a man posing as a female Uber driver was rescued by authorities after she passed a chilling note to a customer at a gas station begging for help.
According to the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, a woman was abducted from the Phoneix area by 41-year-old Jacob Wilhoit.
Her mother had reported her missing and stated that Wilhoit was a person of interest.
The sheriff’s office said the woman was abducted around 7 a.m. when Wilhoit posed as an Uber driver wearing a woman’s wig.
He restrained the woman and drove to Las Vegas where they spent the night in a park.
The next day, they stopped at a Chevron station in Seligman, about 170 miles north of Phoenix. The woman secretly slipped a note to a customer.
“Help,” she scribbled on the note, adding her name and phone number. “Call 911. Blue Honda van … going towards Kingman Las Vegas.”
The customer dialed 911 and provided authorities with the details written on the note including where the van was headed.
Officers apprehended the vehicle on Interstate 40 where they found multiple guns in plain view.
They rescued the woman and arrested Wilhoit.
“The victim’s extraordinary action in passing the note, the customer’s willingness to assist, and the quick actions of YCSO and DPS saved the victim from her kidnapper and allowed her to return home with her family,” reads a statement from the Sheriff’s Office.
Wilhoit was taken into custody without incident and faces charges of threatening, aggravated assault, unlawful imprisonment, kidnapping, and other crimes.
Authorities have not identified a possible motive.
Sheriff’s office spokesperson Kristin Green says the woman is still traumatized by the entire experience.
“We’re confident that she’ll get through it. And obviously she wants to see this man put away. She’s still in a state of shock about all of this,” she said.
Green also said the customer did the right thing by calling 911.
“It’s really no skin off your back to take the person seriously and make the call to 911. If it turns out it’s some kind of hoax, no harm no foul. But don’t just automatically discount it,” she said.