DUSON, La. — A woman, kidnapped two days ago from a child-care center parking lot, was found Friday with multiple stab wounds inside a vacant house about a dozen miles away.
Bethany Arceneaux, 29, was taken to an area hospital where she is talking to investigators about what happened, said family members who found her. She is in stable condition.
"We went and got her in that house. We kicked doors down. It was like a movie unfolding," said Arceneaux's brother, Ryan Arceneaux. "If we wouldn't have done what we did, she would have been dead."
Ryan Arceneaux; a second brother, Kaylyn Alfred; and other family members stormed the house, about 10 miles west of Lafayette, La., and 65 miles west of Baton Rouge, La., grabbed Bethany Arceneaux and left the man accused of kidnapping her, Scott Thomas, 29, of Leonville, La. Thomas is the father of her son.
"I'm so happy. God is good," said Bethany and Ryan Arceneaux's aunt, Monica Arceneaux-Henry, after the rescue.
Thomas died later Friday, said Cmdr. Kip Judice of the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office after police deployed a SWAT team to the scene. Thomas succumbed to injuries he sustained during the confrontation with Bethany Arceneaux's family members.
Judice said family members injured Thomas as they were defending Bethany Arceneaux.
Witnesses told police that Thomas arrived at the day-care center Wednesday evening as Arceneaux was picking up their 2-year-old. He forced her into his car and drove away, leaving their son inside Arceneaux's vehicle unharmed.
His car was found later that evening unoccupied in a spot near where Arceneaux was found Friday.
Arceneaux had a protective order issued June 17 against Thomas, court records show. Thomas was arrested Aug. 8 for violating the order and also was charged with aggravated assault and aggravated flight from an officer then.
"He keeps threatening to kill us," Arceneaux wrote in her June 15 complaint to police that resulted in the protective order. "He put a knife to my neck countless times," choked her, dragged her by the hair and held herself and her son hostage.
A cousin, Dawnetta Roy, described Arceneaux as a down-to-earth mother always willing to help others and said Thomas was very abusive.
"She was very afraid of him," Roy said.
Contributing: Amanda McElfresh and Jessica Goff, The (Lafayette, La.) Daily Advertiser