A 13-year-old girl, kidnapped on her way to school...

Jan. 13, 1985
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ALVARADO, Texas -- A 13-year-old girl, kidnapped on her way to school and held two days, was rescued Sunday by Texas Rangers who captured five suspects in a 100-mph running gunfight across three counties.

'It was a little more exciting than Bonnie and Clyde,' Texas Ranger Lloyd Johnson said of the air-and-ground chase, which ended about 4:30 a.m. when the suspects' car ran out of gas on a rural road.

After a brief shootout, in which the two suspects were wounded, the Rangers rescued Amy McNiel, daughter of Alvarado State Bank Director Don McNiel.

In an unrelated case, meanwhile, police Sunday rescued a 6-year-old boy and his 2-year-old sister and captured their accused kidnappers in Fort Worth.

Sammy and Teresa Franco, who were abducted Thursday from their home in the Fort Worth suburb of Richland Hills, were found in a car with a 16-year-old boy and 20-year-old, who had just driven away emptyhanded from a drop site where a $60,000 ransom had been left, police said.

Commenting on the Alvarado case, McNiel said, 'Let me tell you the FBI and the Texas Rangers know how to handle these things. We're just glad to have our baby back.'

'She's physically in good condition considering what she's gone through,' said Larry Todd, spokesman for the Department of Public Safety.

Michael Lynn Mills, 27, of Pleasant Grove and John Wesley Foote, 34, of Alvarado were arraigned on aggravated kidnapping charges at a Franklin County hospital Sunday morning, where bond was set at $150,000 each. They were moved to Parkland Hospital in Dallas, 75 miles away, where they were listed in fair condition.

The other suspects, charged with aggravated kidnapping and attempted capital murder in Hopkins County, were identified as Liza Ann Bouvier, 18, of Balch Springs, George Thomas Barnes, 21, of Dallas and Daniel Walter Necker Jr., 21, of Mesquite. No bond was set. They were scheduled to be transferred back to Johnson County Sunday.

Authorities said the five could face other charges, including extortion.

During the chase, the abductors fired buckshot from sawed-off shotguns at the Rangers, who returned fire until their car's radiator was hit and the engine caught fire.

'The Rangers called for help and more Rangers come out after them and overcame the subjects when they ran out of gas at a little old place called Saltillo about 25 miles west of Mount Pleasant,' Johnson said.

The suspects came out of their car firing at the Rangers and FBI agents, who returned fire, wounding the two suspects while two other Rangers ran to the suspects' car, rescued Amy and carried her from the scene.

Todd said Amy was abducted Friday morning while walking to school with a brother and cousin in the small town of Alvarado, 40 miles southwest of Dallas.

'The other children said that about one and a half miles from Alvarado a vehicle came off a gravel road and two men took Amy at gunpoint,' he said.

Later that morning, McNiel received a phone call at home demanding a $100,000 ransom. The caller called several more times to relay instructions on delivering the ransom, Todd said.

McNiel called authorities who assigned Texas Rangers and FBI agents to the case.

'At 5 p.m. Saturday evening, the kidnappers told McNiel to go to a location in east Dallas where he would be called from a pay phone,' Todd said. The caller then told him to go to another pay phone near Tyler, about 150 miles southeast of Dallas, and later was directed through the towns of Longview, Dangerfield and Mount Pleasant to a closed gas station on Interstate 30, about 120 miles northeast of Dallas, where his car gave out.

'I burned it down to get to the last point,' he said. 'We coasted into the last point. We thought we were dead in the water at that point,' because he couldn't drive any farther.

As he waited for more instructions, a car came through the station and the Rangers and FBI agents who had been following McNiel pursued it.

The 20-minute chase headed back toward Dallas through Titus, Franklin and Hopkins counties at speeds of up to 100 mph until the suspects' car ran out of gas at a farmhouse.

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