Charlottesville Breaking News
Eight months after an Albemarle County woman reported getting abducted from her home and being forced to drive at gunpoint some 300 miles down the Blue Ridge Parkway, authorities aren't close to an arrest– in fact, they've stopped looking.
"A thorough investigation by our office was conducted, which included multiple interviews," writes FBI spokesperson Dee Rybiski in an email. "Unfortunately, the investigation and information provided failed to develop any viable leads or identify any potential suspects."
The details of the the June 23, 2011 incident may have been hazy, but they were terrifying.
The then-42-year-old woman– a nurse named Kelly Porterfield– described her gun-wielding kidnapper as slim and short, wearing a mask and sunglasses, according to a news report at the time. The report noted that Porterfield was held captive in her red Honda Odyssey minivan all the way to an overlook in the mountains of North Carolina. When the alleged assailant took her into a forest, Porterfield somehow freed herself and found assistance from a passerby.
While authorities conducted an extensive search of the mountainous, wooded area in which Porterfield reportedly escaped an abductor's clutches, they came up empty-handed, and one North Carolina investigator suggested there might be more to the story.
The prisoner has arrived.
On this, the first and possibly only day of deliberations, the pile of media was larger than previously seen.
The first order of business was drawing lots to find out which jurors would be dismissed as alternates. It turned out to be two women, Juror #21 and Juror #256. This leaves a seven-man, five-woman jury to weigh the evidence.
Judge Edward Hogshire told the two alternates that they could be recalled, and he forbade them from discussing the case, looking at news reports, and even talking to members of the media.
"If someone should attempt to contact you," said Hogshire, "we'd like to know about it right away."
One of the remaining jurors asked what the foreman does, and the judge responded by saying that person is a "facilitator" and then mentioning that the court will provide pizza if the jurors elect to take a working lunch.
There was a suggestion that tha...