A late night visit to the Wal-Mart Shopping Center in Marianna was the beginning of a terrifying night for a 20-year-old Altha woman who was forced to drive her car to an isolated area and then told to get out before her kidnapper drove away. Three hours later, he totaled her car in a crash while being pursued by deputies.
“I was scared to death. I really didn’t know what to do,” said Elizabeth Reagan.
Reagan was waiting for a friend to get off work and had parked beside Waffle House around 11 p.m. She left her 1999 Buick LaSabre running while she stood outside, talking on her cell phone.
“Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him walking up behind me,” she said. “He grabbed the back of my hair. He told me to get in the car and drive.”
She said she was too frightened to do anything to try to get away.
He ordered her to drive a short distance to Magnolia Landing. “When we got there, he told me he wouldn’t hurt me as long as I did what he told me.” She said he had a small knife with a blade she believes was about two or three inches long. “He slid the blade along my neck. I was panicking and trying to stay as calm as possible,” she said.
Once they reached the landing, “He snatched me out of my car, told me he was going to steal it and told me to start walking toward the bridge.” She added that she tried to slip a cell phone into her pocket without him noticing but he saw what she was doing and took it away. “He said if I screamed, he would come back and shoot me.” He drove off and she ran to a nearby home and called for help.
She gave a description of the man to authorities, telling them he was a white male with ear piercings and several tattoos, including a large cross on his arm.
It wasn’t until the next morning that she learned he had been caught just three hours later when he wrecked her car.
Washington County deputies saw the car and tried to stop the driver around 2 a.m. but he fled. He led deputies on a 15 minute chase, racing from Washington County into Jackson County and back again into Washington County, where he wrecked.
Christopher Cruz Walley of Chipley was taken into custody and charged with carjacking, kidnapping and aggravated assault in Jackson County. As of Tuesday afternoon, he was being held in Washington County, where he is facing traffic charges.
Reagan was surprised to find Walley on Facebook and visited his page, where she recognized him from his photos. In the Basic Information section of his page, he had written, “I just got out of prison. I’m currently chilling in Chipley, Florida, trying to stay outta trouble….”
Reagan, who works at a fast food restaurant in Marianna, says she’s dealing with the aftermath of her ordeal. “I have trouble sleeping and I’m afraid to go to work at night,” she said.
She added, “My granny (Diane Watson) tells me every day, “You better be thanking God you’re all right.”