WARRENSBURG - Various law enforcement agencies are searching for a man with local ties who they allege may have kidnapped and assaulted a 21-year-old woman from Fort Ann, then bound her with duct tape and left her in a western New York motel room and fled in her car.
Authorities were searching for Arnold C. Fox, 30, who in 2008 worked in Stony Creek.
They say Fox may be driving the woman's stolen green 2003 Jeep Liberty, bearing Massachusetts s license plate 522DF8.
Authorities said they believe Fox had offered employment to the victim over the Internet on a horse farm in Saratoga that did not exist.
Cayuga County Sheriff David Gould said Tuesday that Fox, posing as "Mike Fox," told the victim she had been hired to work on his farm purported to be "Fox Farms" in Saratoga Springs, and convinced the woman to meet him in the Poconos area to help him buy some horses. The two did meet and did visit several horse farms in Pennsylvania, Gould said.
The woman contacted her family at about 11 a.m. Saturday, stating she was two hours from home and was dropping Fox off in Warrensburg, authorities said.
However, the victim was not heard from again until she was found at the motel in Weedsport Monday morning bound in duct tape in a room at the Best Western Motel on Re. 31 in the Village of Weedsport and freed by a local police officer. Suffering from a head wound, she was transported to a local hospital, treated and released, authorities said.
Sheriff Gould said that in the meantime, she had been reported missing to the Washington County Sheriff's Office.
Suspect Arnold Fox, thought to be a transient, has been known to live and work on farms in the Adirondack area as well as in South Carolina and Pennsylvania.
Warren County Undersheriff Robert Swan said Wednesday that his agency had arrested Fox in May 2008 as a fugitive from justice, and they apprehended him where he worked at Thousand Acres Ranch in Stony Creek.
Swan said he recalled that Fox was living in Adirondack in a bed and breakfast at that time.
He was arraigned in Warrensburg Town Court on May 29 2008 and sent back to South Carolina to face felony larceny charges.
Authorities say Fox has communicated with at least two other females online using what appears to be the same ruse but had not met with them in person.
Five law enforcement agencies, including the Warren County Sheriff's Office the Washington County Sheriff's Office, and state Police in Wilton, are investigating the case, but as of Wednesday noon, there were no warrants issued for Fox, who is officially sought for questioning. i
Authorities are attempting to locate witnesses who saw Arnold Fox or saw him with a female anytime after Dec. 3 and anyone with information about the whereabouts of Fox or the victim's vehicle. Detectives also want to interview any persons who conversed with Fox online or responded to any online add posted by him or "Fox Farms". Those with information are asked to call the Warren County Sheriff's Department at 743-2500.