Alberta family taken in naked kidnapping case were frightened, want answers

By The Canadian Press
November 10, 2017 - 2:15pm

EDMONTON — An Alberta family allegedly kidnapped by a group of naked neighbours, who may have unknowingly drank some hallucinogenic tea, say it was a frightening experience.

And the family members say until they learn more facts about what happened, they don't know how to feel about the ordeal.

"We just don't have enough information," said one family member, who asked not to be named. "We have no answers as to whether anything was purposely taken or not purposely taken."

The family members were reluctant to share their experience because of the ongoing court case, but they told The Canadian Press they know the accused as neighbours. They are all members of the same Jehovah's Witnesses church.

When one of the female accused showed up at the family's home in Leduc County south of Edmonton on Monday morning, clothed and acting frantic, they thought there must be an emergency.

But the family said with her were four other people who were naked and the family was forced outside and into a BMW. The man was allegedly put in the trunk and his daughter and her baby in the car with the others.

While the car was being driven, the family said the man managed to jump out of the trunk. As the car slowed, the woman and her baby then managed to get away.

The man, woman and child were then picked up by a passerby in his truck, but the truck was allegedly rammed by the car.

RCMP have said that when they arrived at the scene of the crash, they took five people into custody. Three adults, a man and two women, are facing charges of kidnapping, resisting arrest and mischief and are to next appear in court Nov. 30.

Two teenage girls also in the car were released without charges.

No one was injured.

The father of the girls, ages 13 and 15, has said his daughters and their mother were having breakfast Monday morning with another couple when they decided to have some tea recently brought back from a trip overseas. The father said the tea was from India, but the family that was allegedly kidnapped said one of the accused had travelled earlier in the year to Thailand and South Korea.

"It's absolutely crazy," said the father, who cannot be named due to a court publication ban protecting the identity of youths involved in the case.

"It's a scary thought thinking, 'Oh, let's try this tea that we purchased.' And then all sit down thinking they're just going to have a nice morning and end up in that circumstance."

He said the girls don't remember what happened.

The Mounties have not said if they're investigating whether a hallucinogenic tea motivated the alleged crime but have said drugs and/or alcohol may have played a role.

Chris Purdy, The Canadian Press

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