On September 6, 2006, 14-year-old Elizabeth Shoaf was kidnapped by Vinson Filyaw, who posed as a police officer, while walking home from her bus stop. Shoaf was handcuffed and told her family was suspected of growing marijuana and that was the reason she was being arrested. Elizabeth knew her family hadn't done anything of the sort, but had never dealt with the police, cooperated with Filyaw and hoped everything would be straightened out. it wasn't until Filyaw began questioning Elizabeth about her virginity that realized she had been lied to and by then it was too late. She was held captive in an underground booby-trapped bunker where she was chained by the neck to the ceiling, told she would be killed, and raped several times a day for ten days. Police were alerted to Shoaf's general whereabouts after she used Filyaw's cell phone tosend a text message to her mother.
It is beyond horrific what happened to this young girl. I, for one cannot begin to imagine myself being in her position. However, she managed to survive this ordeal and was strong enough to take part in his arrest. Very seldom do we hear of stories with such terrifying circumstances, that end in victory and justice. I think Elizabeth Shoaf is an extremely courageous and intelligent person for being about to make it through such a terrifying experience and for being strong enough to look her perpetrator in the eye and fight for justice.
"I think that Vinson, the man that kidnapped me, is just stupid. He isn’t crazy because if he was, he would have killed me or done something worse. He knew what he was doing and he got outsmarted. Not to be snobby, but he thought he could get away with kidnapping and raping me for 10 days and I, 14 years old, outsmarted him - a 36-year-old man." -Elizabeth Shoaf. 1
1. MSNBC: Kidnapped Teen: 'Bunker was Hell' (March 6, 2008)