- The Washington Times - Friday, January 21, 2005

TYLER, Texas (AP) — A college student whose abduction was captured on a surveillance videotape as she was leaving her clerk’s job at a Wal-Mart was found fatally shot yesterday , and a suspect was arrested, authorities said.

The body of Megan Leann Holden, 19, was discovered in a ditch alongside a highway in western Texas. Police said she was killed by a man who went on a multistate crime spree before he turned up yesterday at an Arizona hospital with a gunshot wound.

The suspect, Johnny Lee Williams, 24, was being held on a $1 million bond on an aggravated kidnapping charge from Texas, authorities said. They said Mr. Williams was driving the woman’s pickup truck, which was parked outside the hospital.

The abduction was captured in chilling detail Wednesday after the student at Tyler Junior College clocked out from the Wal-Mart just before midnight.

The apparent abductor — a man in a long, dark coat — was seen loitering around the front entrance of the store “for a good period of time,” Tyler police spokesman Don Martin said. The man also was seen on tape about 90 minutes before the abduction, emerging from a bathroom and walking around inside the store.

The tape later shows Miss Holden getting into her truck and the man “running up behind her and either hitting her or pushing her,” Mr. Martin said.

Tyler Police Chief Gary Swindle provided little detail about the killing, but said Miss Holden died of a gunshot wound, adding: “We have every indication that she was shot at the location where her body was found.”

Authorities said Mr. Williams kept heading west as he continued his crime spree, attempting a robbery at an Arizona RV park, but being foiled by a store worker who fired the shot that landed him in the Arizona hospital where he was treated and then taken into custody.

In addition to aggravated kidnapping charges, Mr. Williams also could face federal charges of interstate transport of stolen goods, kidnapping or carjacking, according to Jeffrey Millslagle with the FBI in Tyler.

Smith County District Attorney Matt Bingham said he would seek capital murder charges. It was not known if Mr. Williams had an attorney.

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