Cape Girardeau, MO – JEFFERY M. LAZIER, of Chicago, Illinois, was sentenced to 35 years in prison on one felony count of kidnapping. He appeared before United States District Judge John A. Ross.
At his plea, Lazier admitted that on May 12, 2015, he abducted a 22-year-old female SEMO college student at knifepoint while she was sitting in her vehicle in the South County Park in Cape Girardeau. Lazier held the young woman captive in his truck for over six hours while driving throughout Missouri and Illinois. During this time, Lazier repeatedly assaulted her and forced her to attempt to obtain money from various banking facilities in Missouri and Illinois.
When Lazier drove onto an off-ramp on Interstate 57 near Effingham, Illinois, the young woman opened the passenger door and jumped out. She then ran toward nearby motorists screaming for help. Witnesses then took her to the Effingham Police Department, who in turn contacted the FBI. The FBI in Effingham alerted the FBI in Cape Girardeau and the investigation began locally. The victim’s car was processed for evidence, and a fingerprint was lifted from the outside of the vehicle by an officer for the Cape Girardeau Police Department. The fingerprint matched that of Jeffery M. Lazier of Chicago, Illinois. On May 15, 2015, agents for the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Lazier in Yorkville, Illinois, and recovered the vehicle used to commit the crime.
At sentencing, United States District Judge John A. Ross took into account Lazier’s previous criminal record, which included a 2007 conviction for Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse of a four-year-old child, and the particular facts of this case, which he described as simply “horrific.”
This case was investigated by the Cape Girardeau Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Keith D. Sorrell handled the prosecution for the Government.