ELKO – A Spring Creek man has been arrested in last summer’s kidnapping of two women, a week after an Elko man pleaded guilty in the case.
Matthew M. Kennah, 36, of Spring Creek was arrested Wednesday at 861 Parkridge Parkway on a felony warrant for first-degree kidnapping with a deadly weapon; robbery with a deadly weapon; and two counts of coercion with force or threat of force. He was booked into Elko County Jail on $340,000 bail.
Kennah is accused of aiding and abetting John Hebel, 22, in the crime.
Hebel pleaded guilty April 22 to one count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping in the first degree; one count of assault with a deadly weapon, and one count of principal to eluding a police officer a manner posing a danger to persons or property.
His pleas on the category “B” felonies were part of an agreement that dropped charges of robbery, coercion and other firearms violations.
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According to a complaint filed April 23 in Elko Justice Court, Kennah is charged with kidnapping the women “with the intent to hold or detain … for ransom, or reward, or for the purpose of committing sexual assault, extortion or robbery ... or for the purpose of killing the victim or inflicting substantial bodily harm on the victim, or to extract money or valuables from others.”
The complaint says a firearm was used in the crime, and that Kennah took cellphones and/or car keys from the victims.
The women were kidnapped in Elko on Aug. 30. After they were found on Boyd-Kennedy Road, a manhunt was launched by the Elko County Sheriff’s Department for the suspects. A Nevada Highway Patrol trooper located the vehicle and began chasing it through Spring Creek but backed off because of concerns about public safety. The vehicle was found abandoned on Pleasant Valley Road hours later.
A third man who was arrested at the scene that night on a parole violation was forced into participating in the kidnapping and/or forced to flee from law enforcement officers who were trying to pull him over, according to the complaint.
He was not charged in the kidnapping but he told police that the crime occurred after he told Hebel that some money he had given one of the women had been stolen from a hiding place.
The manhunt was complicated by a wildfire that broke out less than 100 yards away from where the third man was walking before he was apprehended. Elko County Fire Protection District was not able to determine the cause of the blaze, which burned more than a thousand acres at the base of the Ruby Mountains.