Kidnapped LDS missionaries in New Mexico escape captors


Two Mormon missionaries say they were held hostage by a New Mexico man who punched, kicked and threatened them with a knife before escaping after a few hours.

Albuquerque police have charged 29-year-old Erwin Smith with kidnapping and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after the Feb. 10 incident. Smith could not be reached for comment.

The Daily Herald in Provo identified the two missionaries as Zuniga Delgado and Michael Whitaker with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Albuquerque Journal reports the missionaries had offered to help Smith move after meeting him at a nearby bus stop but once inside his apartment, Smith drank heavily and made suicidal comments before abusing and threatening the pair. Neither required medical attention.

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