A man who allegedly kidnapped a woman and her young son in New Hampshire before sexually assaulting her in Vermont Saturday was captured and arrested outside Philadelphia after a manhunt that included “multiple car chases,” officials said.
Everett Simpson, 41, of St. Johnsbury, Vt., had allegedly forced the woman and her son, whom he did not know, into their car outside the Mall of New Hampshire in Manchester at about 1 p.m. Saturday and drove to Vermont, Vermont State Police said in a statement.
Simpson forced the woman to rent a hotel room in White River Junction where he sexually assaulted her, the statement said. The woman and her son were able to reach safety and contact police around 5:30 p.m. after Simpson left the hotel room, police said.
The son is believed to have been in the hotel room at the time of the sexual assault, Vermont State Police spokesman Adam Silverman said, but “whether in the bathroom or elsewhere, I do not know,” he said.
The woman was a stranger to Simpson and was targeted randomly, police said.
Authorities believe Simpson had escaped from an eastern Vermont substance-abuse rehab facility in a stolen car three days earlier, according to the statement.
Simpson’s arrest came after patrolling officers with the Prospect Park Police Department in Pennsylvania scanned the license plate of a Kia and discovered it had been reported stolen in New Hampshire, Vermont State Police said in a statement Sunday night. The driver of the Kia did not stop when officers attempted to pull him over, and the car was later found abandoned in a nearby apartment complex’s parking lot.
About an hour later, a red Pontiac Vibe was reported stolen in the area, according to the statement. Upper Darby Township police officers located the car and began chasing it.
The chase ended after Simpson crashed into a telephone pole and was placed under arrest, according to the statement. He was taken to a local hospital for evaluation.
Simpson faces extradition to Vermont, police said Sunday night.
He is expected to face federal charges in the District of Vermont related to car theft, kidnapping, and sexual assault, police said. The prosecution is being coordinated by the US Attorney’s office in Burlington.
Simpson has had previous run-ins with police, including a vehicle theft, high-speed pursuit, and aggravated assault on a state trooper in Lyndonville, Vt., in September, officials said.
The arrest followed an investigation that included the FBI, Vermont State Police, Hartford, Vt., police, Manchester, N.H., police, and the Office of the US Attorney for the District of Vermont.
“Vermont Commissioner of Public Safety Thomas D. Anderson and Vermont State Police director Col. Matthew T. Birmingham extend their thanks and appreciation to the local, state and federal law-enforcement partners who worked tirelessly across multiple jurisdictions to pursue and ultimately arrest this violent, dangerous suspect,” Vermont State Police said in the Sunday night statement.
State Police said further developments in the case will be released by the US Attorney’s office.