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Father of kidnap victim found in Wisconsin speaks out

Laura Johnson was found safe in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Posted: Jun 20, 2021 12:45 PM
Updated: Jun 21, 2021 12:57 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- Springfield Police said on Sunday that missing woman Laura Johnson, 34, was kidnapped by the North Bend murder suspect Oen Nicholson, 30, and forced to drive to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

RELATED: NORTH BEND MURDER SUSPECT TURNS HIMSELF IN TO WISCONSIN AUTHORITIES

Officials said Nicholson forced Johnson to drive him north.

Dennis Johnson is Laura Johnson's father and described what took place when his daughter was allegedly kidnapped.

"He approached her in her vehicle with a gun," Dennis Johnson said. "They said she was forced to drive 33 hours to where they're at. She was able to talk him into turning himself in."

Dennis Johnson said his daughter works at Cabela's in Springfield. She was on her lunch break -- sitting in her car and texting her boyfriend -- when Nicholson approached her at gunpoint. This is when Laura reportedly lost comunication with her family.

By 11 p.m. on Friday and no one had seen or heard from Laura. 

According to Dennis Johnson, the lack of communication was out of character for Laura. He said he called Cabela's and they told him she never returned from lunch.

On Saturday, Springfield Police asked for the public's help in searching for Laura.

At 6 a.m. on Sunday, Dennis recieved a call from the Milwaukee Police Department that Laura was safe.

Dennis said her car will remain in Milwaukee for further investigation. 

Dennis said it is a happy ending for their family on Father's Day and he feels blessed. "Me and my wife both feel amazing and what a Father's Day gift that was handed back to me," he said. 

On Sunday night, Dennis shared a photo on his Facebook page showing Laura reunited with the family at the airport.

MORE: NORTH BEND MURDER SUSPECT IS FACING MULTIPLE CHARGES INCLUDING 6 COUNTS OF FIRST DEGREE MURDER

Nicholson is facing multiple charges including six counts of first-degree murder, one count of second-degree attempted murder, one count of first-degree assault and two counts of failure to perform the duties of a driver to injured persons.

Nicholson is being held in Wisconsin on fugitive warrants from Oregon, police said.

Officials said Nicholson will be returned to Oregon, but they don't know exactly when that will happen.

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