Police: Olean man kidnapped woman

Alleged Kidnapping Victim Recovering

OLEAN, N.Y. -- A man in Olean remains in Cattaraugus County Jail after he was arrested Monday and charged with felony kidnapping.

Francis O'Donnell, 61, is accused of keeping a 35-year-old woman in his apartment on North Union Street. He is due in court for his first preliminary hearing on Friday.

The 35-year-old woman, last seen January 12, was rediscovered Monday morning  at Olean General Hospital. She was still in the hospital as of Wednesday night recovering from injuries police stay she sustained during the ordeal.

"I had been [at the hospital] days previous to give them a flyer that she was missing. They are aware of her, she had been there a few times. So they called us right away then," said Olean Police Captain Robert Blovsky.

Blovsky said, according to family, the alleged victim has a history of going off the grid, so they didn't worry about her whereabouts too much until more time had passed than usual and they couldn't get ahold of her. An actual missing persons report was only filed last week.

O'Donnell was arrested in his apartment shortly after she turned up at the hospital.

"People think kidnapping is you grab somebody and throw them in the car, or you chain somebody up; it's not always that. It means to restrain somebody so that they're not free to leave, also," Blovsky explained of the kidnapping charge.

Police say the whole thing may started at the public library in early January, where the woman was allegedly outside. O'Donnell asked if she wanted a ride, and somehow they ended up at his apartment.

O'Donnell said she asked to stay with him for a few days, the alleged victim says that's not true. The woman claimed she was assaulted, but O'Donnell denied that according to police.

Police say O'Donnell has no prior criminal record.

Now, police are tasked with evaluating two stories that don't match up.

"I don't believe we ever get 100% of the truth sometimes. That's why we have the court system...the jury can decide who's right and who's wrong," Blovsky said.

Blovsky said more charged are forthcoming when the District Attorney is ready to act on them.

Police say the woman is a mother and that family is taking care of her kids.

© 2017 WGRZ-TV


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