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Woman texts for help as alleged abductor heads west on I-94

A 19-year-old Whitehall woman allegedly held against her will by a man she met online was found unharmed this afternoon near Elk Mound.

According to Sgt. William Berger, at 12:50 this afternoon the Wisconsin State Patrol’s Eau Claire communications center received information that a woman was being held in a black Chevrolet Equinox traveling west on I-94 near Eau Claire.

The alleged victim had limited communications and was texting for help, according to the State Patrol.

Troopers were stationed along several sectors of I-94 between Eau Claire and Hudson in an effort to locate the vehicle and suspect and rescue the woman.

She was able to convince the male suspect that she needed to use the restroom at the next exit ramp and communicated that she was in a restroom at the Holiday Gas Station near an Elk Mound exit.

Responding officers located the vehicle and both parties at the Holiday Gas Station/ Burger King Restaurant near Exit 59. The woman was found unharmed inside.

A 32 year-old male from Edina, Minn.,was arrested outside near his rental vehicle.

According to the State Patrol, the man and woman met online and communicated via the Internet.

The suspect was turned over the Eau Claire County Sheriff’s Department, which is continuing its investigation.

Other agencies assisting with this incident included the Whitehall Police Department and the Trempealeau County Sheriff’s Department Communications Center.