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Press Release

Two Men Charged in Violent Kidnapping

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Two men were charged in federal court today for kidnapping a woman who was rescued from her attackers at a Neosho, Missouri, hotel room.

Freddie Lewis Tilton, 47, of Joplin, Missouri, and Alvin Dale Boyer, 35, of Rogers, Arkansas, were charged in a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Springfield, Mo. Tilton was arrested at a Joplin residence today. He was taken into custody after shooting at Newton County Sheriff’s deputies who were executing a state search warrant in an unrelated case. Officers responded with tear gas and there were no injuries. 

Tilton has an initial court appearance on Wednesday, July 29. He remains in federal custody pending a detention hearing, which has not yet been scheduled. Boyer remains a fugitive.

Today’s federal criminal complaint alleges that Tilton and Boyer kidnapped the victim, identified in court documents as “S.T.,” on July 19, 2020.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the federal criminal complaint, an employee at Boonslick Lodge in Neosho, Missouri, called police at approximately 11:50 p.m. on July 19, 2020, to report that a woman was being choked and dragged into a room. A police officer knocked on the door of the room, and S.T., bloody and injured, opened the door and ran out of the room. Tilton had climbed out the back window and escaped.

S.T. told investigators she had arrived at the hotel to meet Boyer (who had rented the room) but found Tilton waiting for her. S.T. had separated from Tilton and had an order of protection against him. When she found Tilton in the room, she said, she tried to leave but was dragged back in by Tilton. She had a Walther 9mm handgun in her waistband but lost it during the struggle. Tilton picked up the handgun and used it to strike her. At one point, S.T. made it to the door but was dragged back inside by Tilton. Tilton had the handgun with him when he climbed out the hotel room window. Tilton attempted to climb down a vertical rain gutter, the affidavit says, but fell to the ground as the guttering broke then ran away.

Officers searched the hotel room and found numerous indications that a violent, physical struggle
had taken place inside the room, according to the affidavit, in addition to blood on the room floor and door. Inside the hotel room, officers found a chair with rope and zip ties attached, more nylon rope and zip ties, duct tape, a pair of pliers, a blowtorch and lighter fluid, drop cloths, a Taurus 9mm handgun, and a Kimber .223-caliber semi-automatic rifle.

S.T. was transported to a hospital for treatment of her injuries.

The charge contained in this complaint is simply an accusation, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charge must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ami Harshad Miller. It was investigated by the FBI, the Neosho, Mo., Police Department, the Newton County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Updated July 28, 2020

Violent Crime