Kidnapping victim escapes after allegedly being held, assaulted in Palestine motel for 3 days

Kidnapping victim escapes after allegedly being held, assaulted in Palestine motel for 3 days

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Palestine police say a woman was able to escape after allegedly being kidnapped and assaulted by a LaMarque, Texas man for three days.

Just before 1 a.m. on Tuesday, January 8, the Palestine Police Department say they responded to the Express Inn and Suites at 1100 E. Palestine Ave. after an assault was reported to staff.

Officers arrived at the motel and spoke with the 36-year-old female victim who had injuries to her face and extremities. The victim reported that she had been taken to Palestine from northern Anderson County in a stolen car driven by Justin Tillman, 30, of La Marque, Texas.

The victim told police that once they arrived at the motel, she was held against her will at the motel for three days. The victim said that she was assaulted by Tillman over the course of three days, and that Tillman forced her to change motel rooms each day. The victim told officers that when Tillman left the hotel, she was finally able to escape the room, and asked another guest to call the police. The victim said that Tillman had left the motel in a brown Kia Sportage.

Police say at around 2 a.m. on Tuesday, Officer Tanner Grantham saw a brown Kia Sportage pulling into the parking lot of the Express Inn and Suites. Officers detained the driver of the vehicle, who was identified as Tillman, who they say initially gave a ficticious name.

After confirming that the Kia was stolen, Officers found that Tillman was wanted for the following warrants:

• Continuous Sexual Abuse of Young Child- Warrant out of Austin Police Department

• Assault Family/Household Member w/ Previous- Harris County Sheriff’s Office

• FTA/Resisting Arrest Search or Transport- Colorado County

Tillman was placed under arrest and taken to the Anderson County Jail and booked for the warrants and charges of Kidnapping, Unauthorized Use of Motor Vehicle, Assault Causes Bodily Injury, Fail to ID Fugitive-Intent Give False Info and Fraudulent Use or Possession of Identifying Information.

Tillman is currently being held on a $125,000 bond.

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