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Police: Man held cousin hostage for ransom

Aug 11, 2010 6:14:00 PM - thestate.com
A Blythewood man has been arrested after he allegedly kidnapped his cousin who has cerebral palsy and held him captive in a hotel closet.

Michael Craig Lee, 31, has been charged with kidnapping, first-degree burglary and abuse of vulnerable adult, the Richland County Sheriff's Department reported. Lee allegedly kidnapped his cousin late Sunday night, the sheriff's department reported.

On Monday morning, the victim's grandfather received a phone call from someone demanding money for the 18-year-old's return, and the victim's truck was located on Monday afternoon on Bass Road in Blythewood, the sheriff's department said.

As family, friends and law enforcement continued their search, Lee became a suspect, said Monique Mack, a sheriff's department spokesman. Investigators found the cousin at a hotel in Fairfield County, and he agreed to come to the sheriff's department for an interview.

While Lee was in the interview, the 18-year-old managed to force his way out of the hotel room closet, Mack said. He went to the hotel receptionist for help.

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