Coweta Police: Officers Found Kidnapping Victim In Three Hours

Monday, December 30th 2019, 7:58 pm
By: Amy Slanchik

A Tulsa man is accused of kidnapping a Coweta woman, forcing her to dance at a Kansas strip club, then taking her money.

Coweta Police said once officers got involved they found the woman in just three hours. The woman’s parents talked with police after she didn’t call them on Christmas Day and they thought she could be in trouble.

The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office in Kansas said the woman was found at a strip club just three hours after her parents reported her missing.

Police said the parents told them they hadn’t heard from their daughter since early December.

“I was really impressed. Three hours is pretty good” Coweta Chief Mike Bell said.

Investigators said Gary Ballard physically beat the victim, forced her to dance for money, then took her money. Bell said the two were in an on again off again relationship, and he’s not sure how long this had been going on.

“I know it’s been long enough for him to get enough money to buy a car with,” Bell said.

When officers tried calling the woman, they said Ballard answered, and was uncooperative. Coweta Police worked with Cherokee County deputies to track the two down, and get her to a safe place.

“They did a very good job at what they did up there,” Bell said.

Ballard served time in prison for a Tulsa County Shooting With Intent to Kill conviction.

Now, he could face charges for aggravated human trafficking and aggravated kidnapping. Police said the woman is now at home with her parents. If you suspect human trafficking the national hotline is 1-888-373-7888.