FBI: Kentucky man abducts, ransoms Tennessee woman

The man was captured by U.S. Marshals at a Leithchfield gas station

FBI: Kentucky man abducts, ransoms Tennessee woman
(Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Kentucky man is behind bars, accused of kidnapping and holding a woman for ransom.

Police have captured and charged Bryan D. Conley in a case that stretched from Tennessee to Kentucky.

On January 29, the Brentwood Police Department in Brentwood, Tennessee received a call from a woman, M.W., indicating that R.W., her daughter, had been kidnapped, according to a criminal complaint filed in District Court Thursday.

Conley was using the victim’s phone to text her mother, police said, and ordered M.W. to pay a $20,000 ransom. He instructed M.W. to drive to Toledo, Ohio. Once there, M.W. received another phone call from Conley. He threatened to rape, sell and kill R.W. if her parents did not comply with his demands.

On the morning of Jan. 29, the FBI said an unidentified user attempted to access R,W.'s bank account. The user provided the correct social security number for R.W., but was unable to answer the security questions. Later that morning, a user successfully logged in to R.W.'s bank account using her phone number. The bank provided the telephone number provided with the first logon attempt, which was registered to Conley’s wife in Tennessee.

Investigators learned that Conley’s wife had a 2014 Ford Taurus registered in her name. Further investigation indicated that two telephones had been in close proximity.

At approximately 10 p.m. CST, police said Conley sent a “proof of life” photograph to R.W.'s father showing R.W. inside a car with binding around her mouth. The ransom was negotiated down to some jewelry and $400, and R.W.'s father began driving to Toledo to drop it off.

The FBI reviewed the “proof of life” photograph and determined that the vehicle was consistent with a Ford Taurus SE, model year 2013-2018.

On Jan. 30 at around 2:25 p.m. CST, Conley texted the phone of the victim’s daughter, “one more lie she’s dead,” The cellular carrier placed the victim’s phone around Hopkinsville, Kentucky.

The ransom was delivered behind a dumpster at 3:30 p.m. CST at the Flying J Travel Center in Oak Grove, Kentucky. At 5 o’clock, the Louisville FBI saw Conley retrieve the payment, enter a Ford Taurus, and leave the station.

Conley was followed by FBI agents to a Grayson County gas station in Leithchfield, Kentucky, where he was arrested. FBI Special Agents found R.W.'s phone with Conley.

The victim was found safe in the back of Conley’s car--the Ford Taurus registered to his wife.

Conley was placed in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. A preliminary hearing was held Friday in Owensboro.

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