Kidnapped woman able to contact law enforcement

OKEECHOBEE — A 41-year-old Fort Pierce man was arrested after he allegedly kidnapped a woman in an attempt to recoup money he claimed she owed him.

Espavious Ceon Mills, Avenue N, was arrested Feb. 16 on a felony charge of kidnapping. He was also arrested Feb. 17 on a St. Lucie County warrant charging him with nonpayment of child support by Officer Todd Burk. His bond was set at $252,000.

According to an arrest report by Officer Kelley Margerum, of the Okeechobee City Police Department (OCPD), at approximately 4:53 p.m. on Feb. 16, she heard dispatch advise of the kidnapping that occurred in St. Lucie County. The sister of the kidnapped person pinged the phone and discovered the location to be west from St. Lucie County coming into Okeechobee via State Road 70.

Espavious Ceon Mills, 41

Officer Margerum reported that multiple units from OCPD and the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) responded to the area the phone was pinged in and were searching for a vehicle with occupants that matched the description provided to law enforcement. The final location of the ping was in the 900 block of Northwest 12th Street, where upon Officer Margerum’s arrival she saw a female in the front seat of a black, four-door Chrysler.

The woman reportedly asked if she could sit inside the patrol car. She told the officer that she was asleep at a friend’s house before she was woken up by Mills, who was looking for money that was supposedly owed to him. The woman claimed that she owed him around $1,000 and had been hiding from him for approximately three weeks. After Mills woke the woman up, he was apparently yelling at the woman and then at some point ‘power slapped’ the left side of the woman’s face.

Mills then supposedly exhibited a folding knife, intimidating and threatening the woman with his presence, stated the report. The woman claimed in the report that he has threatened to hurt her and her family in the past. The woman identified Mills while he spoke with law enforcement personnel and apparently later showed Officer Margerum Facebook messages from Mills that showed him supposedly looking for her and threatening her family.

The woman was transported to the OCPD but stated prior, while on scene, that Mills brought her and his friend to a motel in Fort Pierce near the turnpike to supposedly work off her debt with prostitution.

Officer Margerum’s report stated that OCPD Detective James Pickering was notified and responded to the police department where photographs of the woman, Facebook messages and Facebook missed calls from Mills were collected. Detective Pickering also conducted an interview with the woman who was “consistent and constantly in fear of Mills.”

Due to the incident occurring inside the jurisdiction of the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office (SLSO), SLSO was notified and Detective Sergeant Ed LeBeau, Detective Clay Mangrum and Deputy Mark Shireman responded. Deputy Shireman responded to the OCPD to make contact with the victim in regards to the kidnapping incident.

The report concluded that physical injuries including redness, swelling and bruising were visible and that photographs were collected, however the woman refused medical treatment from emergency medical services. Mills was arrested on the aforementioned charges and the vehicle used in the kidnapping was towed to a secure impound lot and sealed for crime scene.

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.