Polson woman rescued from 11-day kidnapping in Billings - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Polson woman rescued from 11-day kidnapping in Billings

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Terrance Tyrell Edwards (MT DOC photo) Terrance Tyrell Edwards (MT DOC photo)
Terrance Tyrell Edwards appearing in a Missoula courtroom. (MTN News file photo) Terrance Tyrell Edwards appearing in a Missoula courtroom. (MTN News file photo)

A Polson woman who authorities say was being held against her will is now safe.

Lake County Sheriff Don Bell says the 22-year-old woman was rescued by the Billings Police Department at around 3 p.m. on Tuesday.

Bell says that the woman met Terrance Tyrell Edwards over the internet and had been offered a well-paying job. She was was lured to the Missoula area where Bell says Edwards kidnapped her and held the woman against her will.

"He met this woman on the internet and he kind of wooed her and made her feel special and did things for her, bought her things. And then when he got her out of her comfort zone -- into his comfort zone -- everything changed," Bell said in an interview with MTN News.

"And then she was basically kidnapped or...she was held against her will, so she could not escape -- and if she tried to do anything he would beat her," Bell continued. "So she was pretty fearful for her life and her family's life." 

The victim made a call from a burner phone to a relative who had come to the Lake County Sheriff's Office to do a follow up from a prior call where the family wanted a welfare check on this missing woman.

The mother of the missing female received a call while at the Lake County Sheriff Office and was able to get information on the victim's location which led to an end to the 11-day ordeal.

Edwards is being held without bond in the Yellowstone County jail and is expected to make his first court appearance Thursday.

John Barnes, a spokesman with the Montana Department of Justice, said Edwards is being held on a possible charge of promotion of prostitution, but could face additional charges including human trafficking. Edwards will be prosecuted in Yellowstone County, he said. 

Bell told MTN News that the woman was reportedly taken to Salt Lake City and Yakima, Washington at different times during her ordeal, so the FBI may soon be on the case.

This is not Edwards first brush with the law. State prison records show that Edwards was sentenced to five years in prison in 2012 for promoting prostitution in Missoula County.

His probation was up on September 19, days after the victim went missing. 

Bell says the woman's family alerted law enforcement after she left town earlier this month and cut off all contact. And when social media posts started popping up, with photos of her bruised face, they knew she was in trouble. 

Investigators said in the Missoula County case, Edwards and his brother posted prostitution ads online with witnesses telling officers at the time that the pair were controlling and beating girls who wanted to leave their business.

Back in September of 2010, Edwards was charged with promoting prostitution and for failure to register as a sexual or violent offender in Missoula County which led to his 2012 conviction.

- information from Jill valley and Mark Thorsell included in this report.

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