Woman Abducted From NorthPark Found in Nacogdoches

Police say couple forced victim into back of her van, drove to Nacogdoches

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A woman who was kidnapped from NorthPark Center parking lot and left three hours south of Dallas says the abductors threatened to kill her. (Published Thursday, Oct 18, 2012)

    A North Texas woman who was abducted from a Dallas mall and found in Nacogdoches early Thursday morning says she is lucky to be alive.

    Dallas police said Tommy Simmons and Michelle Tortora kidnapped Minh Nguyen from a NorthPark Center parking lot outside Macy's on Wednesday night.

    Woman Kidnapped From NorthPark, Found in Nacogdoches

    [DFW] Woman Kidnapped From NorthPark, Found in Nacogdoches
    Police say a woman was kidnapped from a NorthPark Center parking lot and taken to Nacogdoches. (Published Thursday, Oct 18, 2012)

    "I'm very lucky, yeah, very lucky I don't die," Nguyen said.

    Nguyen said a woman identified by authorities as Michelle Tortora came up to the van she was in and asked for directions. A man identified by police as Tommy Simmons then punched her in the face and ordered her to the back of the vehicle, she said.

    “He asked me how [to] get to [U.S. Route] 75 south, freeway, to [Interstate] 45 south," Nguyen said. “‘Don't show me? I cut you, you die’ -- he say that, the guy said that."

    Simmons, who is from Nacogdoches, was released from prison Wednesday. Dallas police Deputy Chief Sheryl Scott said Simmons was given a bus ticket to Nacogdoches when he was released.

    "He decided he did not want to take a bus, that he wanted his own transportation, and that may be why he actually took the car,” she said.

    Nguyen said the pair threw her out of the van once they were in Nacogdoches. They stole her money and her phone, she said.

    She said she waved someone down once she was out of the van and got police assistance.

    Deputies caught up to Simmons, 29, and Tortora, 18, and arrested them shortly afterward.

    They are charged with aggravated kidnapping, assault and vehicle theft and are each being held on a $282,000 bond in Nacogdoches.

    In a statement Thursday, NorthPark spokeswoman Victoria Snee said the mall was aware of the incident.

    "NorthPark Center is cooperating with authorities in their investigation," she said in the statement. "As always, the safety of our shoppers, merchants, and employees continues to be our number one priority."

    NBC 5's Randy McIlwain contributed to this report.