Kidnapped woman escapes thanks to help from gas station clerk

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FRANKLIN COUNTY, MO (KMOV/CNN) -

A Missouri gas station clerk is being hailed as a hero after she helped a kidnapping victim in her store.

Deputies say last Sunday, Russell Deshields took a 42-year-old woman’s car keys, broke her cell phone and forced her into a vehicle.

The victim had an order of protection against the suspect during the time of the incident.

After about a 30-mile drive, the woman convinced Deshields to stop at a BP gas station in Dittmer, MO.

"He was very close to her. You couldn’t even get a hand in between them. I noticed it and watched them through the whole thing,” said the BP clerk, who didn’t want to be identified.

The clerk says the victim walked to the counter and asked which cigarettes were on sale.

"I told her, and she just kind of mumbled to me and said, ‘help me,’ really low. I was like, ‘Okay?’ She goes, ‘He’s trying to kill me,’” the clerk said.

Deputies say Deshields was in the gas station with the victim as she made her plea for help.

"I didn’t know what he was going to do, but I knew we had to get her to safety," the clerk said.

The clerk demanded the woman go into the gas station’s office then followed her inside, where the victim told her about the kidnapping, saying Deshields had threatened to drive the car off a bridge if she didn't cooperate.

"You could tell it was true because she had black marks on her hand and her arm,” the clerk said.

Deshields ran away from the store before deputies arrived, but he was later found at his home, hiding under the bed.

He was taken into custody and has a bond set at $100,000 cash only.

Copyright 2018 KMOV, Franklin County Sheriff Department via CNN. All rights reserved.