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Abducted Gun Barrel City Woman Found In Well

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  • zaraster

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    Mar 19, 2008

    May 20, 2008, 7:27PM
    Abducted Gun Barrel City woman found in well

    © 2008 The Associated Press
    GUN BARREL CITY, Texas — A beaten and bruised Gun Barrel City woman said Tuesday she thought she was hallucinating when her grandson found her 16 hours after an attacker tossed her into an abandoned well.
    "God let me know with this that miracles do happen," Shirley Shafer told The Tyler Morning Telegraph in a story for Wednesday's editions.
    Shafer, 63, was discovered late Friday, hours after the suspect had been stopped in her car.
    The Henderson County sheriff's department Tuesday announced the arrest of Joshua James Cannon, 18, of the Gun Barrel City area.
    Bond is $17,500 for Cannon, who was arrested Friday night on charges of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and possession of a firearm by a felon. More charges could be filed, officials said.
    Cannon remained in custody Tuesday and did not have an attorney, a jail official said.
    Relatives of Shafer became concerned Friday afternoon when they couldn't find her. They checked her cell phone and found a message from Seagoville police, who said a car registered to her had been impounded after its driver was stopped for reckless driving.
    Shafer's family then reported her missing and began searching the rural area about 55 miles southeast of Dallas.
    The sheriff's department says a search led to the discovery of Shafer in a 20-foot-deep well a couple miles from her house. The well had some water in it.
    Shafer, who was treated for a broken nose, plus bruises and dehydration, told the newspaper the abduction began early Friday morning when she had arrived home just after midnight and answered a knock at the door.
    "He said his truck had broken down and asked if he could use the phone," Shafer said.
    She said she let the man make a call. But he returned minutes later with a rifle and forced his way in, striking her with the butt of the weapon and asking for her purse and her ATM card, Shafer told the newspaper.
    "He pushed me in the car and told me if I tried to jump out that he would kill me. I didn't know what to do," she said.
    Shafer said the suspect forced her to drive with him in her car. After driving around for awhile, the man forced her out of the car at gunpoint.
    She said he gave her three choices, saying he could "strangle me, shoot me, or push me into the well and leave me." Before she could answer, she was thrown into the well, she said.
    Shafer was in the well for about 16 hours until her grandson found her.
    "I heard him saying grandma and I just started crying and thanking God. I knew that God had saved me," she said.
    Information from KLTV-TV & Tyler Morning Telegraph: &
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