Kidnapping suspect arrested in Florida
by The Press and Standard | December 6, 2018 5:00 am
Last Updated: December 5, 2018 at 8:45 am
The Colleton County Sheriff’s Office is working to return an elderly Walterboro man from Florida to face charges in connection with the disappearance of his neighbor.
Family members reported Alice Webster was missing from her residence on the evening of Nov. 21.
Webster, the family members told deputies, suffers from mild dementia and they believed she was coerced into leaving by a neighbor.
Earlier in the day, a typed letter was received at the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office allegedly sent by the woman.
The letter stated she was leaving on her own accord and not to let family members report her missing.
Investigators found the letter to be unusual because it was typed instead of hand written.
Investigators identified the neighbor as John Irvin Seigler Jr., 76 of Walterboro, who lived near the Webster home.
At the request of family members and based largely on the information that the missing woman was suffering from mild dementia, investigators began working the case as a missing/endangered person.
Throughout the Thanksgiving holiday, investigators followed lead after lead until information traced Webster and Seigler to Highlands County, Fla.
On Nov. 23, deputies with the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office made contact with Webster and Seigler in a shopping center. She agreed to return home with waiting family members, and Seigler was released on the scene because Webster told Florida law enforcement offices that the entire incident was consensual.
After Webster was reunited with her family, investigators continued to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident.
As a result, investigators issued arrest warrants for Seigler on kidnapping and burglary charges.
The investigation revealed that Seigler allegedly entered Webster’s residence, stole a firearm, and then coerced her into leaving with him.
Furthermore, once she was in the vehicle with him, Seigler reportedly refused to allow her to have contact with her family members. On several occasions, Seigler responded to text messages on her behalf and reportedly attempted to lead family and friends to believe they were in Chattanooga. Tenn.
Highlands County sheriff’s deputies took Seigler into custody on Colleton County’s active warrants at about 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 3.
Seigler is jailed in Florida and awaiting extradition procedures that will bring him back to face the charges.