Police: Suspect threatened to kill family, kidnapped woman

The search for a Lawrence County man who held a woman against her will and made threats against a Linton family ended with his arrest in Jackson County early Wednesday morning, police said.

Gregory Vernon Messick, 44, of Bedford faces a Level 3 felony charge of kidnapping; a Level 6 felony charge of resisting law enforcement with a vehicle creating substantial risk of bodily injury to another person; and misdemeanor charges of possession of paraphernalia, operating while intoxicated and blood alcohol content 0.08 percent or greater.

Jackson County Sheriff’s Department Officer Rob Henley said the incident that led to Messick’s arrest began when the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department received a 911 call from a man who said he had guns and bombs in his car and that he was headed to Linton to kill a family.

He also said he had a woman in the car and was holding her against her will. He later released the woman, who was from Bedford and an ex-girlfriend of Messick. The woman was not hurt during the incident, Henley said.

Lawrence County police asked Jackson County police to look for Messick in a silver Hyundai sport utility vehicle.

In an attempt to locate Messick, they “pinged” his cellphone to county roads 1290W and 650W in the Norman area of Jackson County, Henley said.

“I found him at that location, but he took off in his vehicle,” Henley said.

County officers Clint Burcham and Mark Holt and Lawrence County officers were involved in the search along with off-duty Seymour Police Department Officer Ben Miller.

Henley said he chased Messick south to State Road 58 and east on State Road 58. Messick then turned north on Cooper Road and drove into a grass field.

That’s where Messick surrendered to Henley and Miller.

Henley said because of the potential for guns and bombs in the vehicle, an explosives ordinance and detonation team with the Indiana State Police was called to the scene.

That team found a suspicious box, but an X-ray was not clear enough to allow police to see the contents, so the team used special equipment to open the pack, which did not contain any explosives, Henley said.

Messick was booked into the Jackson County Jail in Brownstown at 7:45 a.m. Wednesday. He remains there pending his initial hearing.