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The Colorado woman who was abducted at gunpoint from a ranch owned by billionaire former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is safe following a SWAT team raid on the Wyoming hotel where she had been taken by her kidnapper.
New details have emerged in the harrowing experience that 46-year-old Amanda Edinger was forced to undergo at the hands of the man who has been identified as Joseph Beecher, a 48-year-old handyman from Craig, CO who on Wednesday, stormed the $44.8 million property located in Rio Blanco County and wanted to “make an international scene” with the failed presidential candidate or his daughters.
In a daring hostage rescue at the Stagecoach Motel in Cheyenne, police stormed the room where Edinger was taken and rescued her. Beecher was arrested without incident and faces multiple charges in both Colorado and Wyoming including kidnapping and felony menacing among others; he is currently being held without bail.
(Video: The Denver Channel – YouTube)
When Beecher rammed his pickup truck through the gates at the ranch which is located in rural western Colorado near Meeker, the Bloomberg family was not present, leading him to instead take Edinger hostage after he reportedly pointed his gun at her and threatened to “shoot her f**king face off” if she didn’t come with him.
Beecher who, according to a local news outlet had “no known connections” to either the victim or Bloomberg and his family, then ordered Edinger to drive him to Denver in her own vehicle, leaving his damaged truck at the property.
According to KMGH Denver: “Investigators learned that Beecher allegedly took the woman to the Denver metro area for multiple stops, and then drove up to Wyoming in the evening. They determined both Beecher and the woman were at the Stagecoach Motel, located at 1515 W. Lincoln in Cheyenne, Wyoming.”
Details of the rescue were provided by the Cheyenne Police Department via its Facebook page: “After being alerted by the Rio Blanco Sheriff’s Office, at approximately 11:15 p.m., Cheyenne Police Officers responded to the motel. Officers established a perimeter and a short time later, located the suspect vehicle in the motel parking lot. Investigative work determined Beecher and the female victim were in a motel room on the property.”
“The CPD’s Joint SWAT team was notified and also responded to the scene. Just prior to their arrival, a fire ignited in a neighboring motel room unrelated to the incident. Cheyenne Police Sergeant Reiber and Officer Lewis, who were both on the perimeter, heard a call for help, proceeded toward the fire, and pulled one male from the burning room. At the same time, the SWAT team was forced to conduct a hostage rescue, making entry into Beecher’s room. The female hostage was rescued, and Beecher was arrested on scene without incident,” according to the CPD.
(Video: 9 News)
Following her rescue, Edinger was reunited with her family while Beecher was taken to the Laramie County Jail, multiple weapons were recovered from the hotel room by policeand there is, as of yet, no known motive for the kidnapping.
A spokesman for the billionaire media magnate released the following statement, “We’re deeply grateful to the Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s office, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Wyoming law enforcement, the FBI and other individuals for their swift and heroic action in this case in ensuring that no lives were lost and that the victim has been rescued and safely returned to her family.”
The Wall Street Journal reported that Bloomberg closed the deal on the 4,600-acre property known as the Westlands ranch about “six weeks” after he dropped out of the presidential race.
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