A misunderstanding between family members caused a portion of Interstate 25 in Casper to be shut down for a portion of Wednesday afternoon.
The incident was not a kidnapping as was originally reported to police, according to a spokesman with the Natrona County Sheriff’s office.
“The incident that occurred actually was no kidnapping, as it is defined in the state statute,” Natrona County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Taylor Courtney told Cowboy State Daily on Thursday. “There are potential for criminal charges as this investigation moves forward, though.”
The incident began Wednesday afternoon, when sheriff’s dispatchers received a report from a family member of a woman who was in a vehicle with a man and a baby. The family member believed that the woman had been taken against her will, although she went with the man willingly, taking the baby along.
The man was making verbal threats, which also concerned the woman’s family, according to initial reports.
The Wyoming Highway Patrol found the couple and baby parked in their vehicle on Interstate 25. Natrona County sheriff’s deputies arrived shortly after and managed to get the woman out of the car safely, although the man and baby were still inside.
“Over the course of 40 to 45 minutes, contact was made with the male inside of the car,” Courtney said. “Law enforcement officers retrieved the child, and the baby and mother were able to get away from the scene safely.”
Not much longer afterward, the man surrendered to law enforcement. He was transported to a medical facility due to a superficial puncture wound that police believed was self-inflicted.
Courtney believed that drugs and mental health issues were contributing factors in this case.