In September 2006 in the quiet town of Lugoff, South Carolina the 14-year-old Elizabeth Shoaf was gruesomely abducted by the 36-year-old Vinson Filyaw. The teenage girl was walking home after the school bus had dropped her off, when Filyaw approached her. He was wearing a police uniform and told the girl he was investigating her parents. Elizabeth had never dealt with law enforcement before so she cooperated without hesitation.
Unfortunately, Filyaw then handcuffed the girl, put her at the backseat of his car and drove her to his remote trailer in the woods where he lived. He threatened to take her life if she screamed for help or disobeyed him. Filyaw then put the terrified girl into an underground bunker where she was held captive for more than 10 days. Luckily, Elizabeth was incredibly smart and resilient for her age. She was able to “befriend” her captor by talking with him about his interests and passions. The 14-year-old even promised Filyaw she would come and live with him if he let her play some games on his cellphone. When the kidnapper gave her his cellphone while he was gone, the witty teen immediately contacted her parents and the police.
Eventually, she was located and rescued by the police officers who were looking for her at the time. Later Elizabeth described her kidnapper as “just stupid”. Vinson Filyaw received a sentence of 421 years in prison for his crimes.