FBI taking over investigation of doctor's abduction

Wednesday, August 8th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ The FBI assumed jurisdiction Tuesday in the abduction of an Oklahoma City doctor from the OU Medical Center campus.

A man approached Dr. Lara Theobald-Nasr early Monday in the parking lot of the Dean A. McGee Eye Institute, just northeast of downtown Oklahoma City. Theobald-Nasr told authorities she was kept prisoner inside her car as the man drove south into Texas and stopped near the U.S.-Mexico border.

The 28-year-old, a first-year resident at the institute who has a medical degree from OU's department of ophthalmology, escaped from the trunk of the car in Laredo, Texas, about 11 hours after she was kidnapped.

Theobald-Nasr was groggy and dehydrated, but otherwise unharmed, police said. She was kept overnight in a Texas hospital for observation and was questioned by federal investigators on Tuesday, police said.

No one has been arrested.

The FBI got involved because the kidnapping crossed state lines.

``We are working closely with the Oklahoma City Police Department to conduct a thorough investigation into the reported incident,'' said agent Gary Johnson, local FBI spokesman.

The abduction convinced OU Medical Center authorities to evaluate safety procedures.

``Due to this incident, President David Boren has ordered a full survey of the security in the OU Medical Center complex parking lots and garages. ... It'll probably be the entire campus before it's over with,'' said Assistant Chief Ed Welch of the hospital campus police.

While the campus has a low crime rate, the abduction reminds officials that unlawful acts can happen anywhere.

``It's very low,'' Welch said of the crime rate, ``but that does not make us immune to crime.''

Institute officials did not know when Theobald-Nasr would return to work.

``We just know that Lara's out of harm's way,'' said Melody Watson, institute spokeswoman. ``When she does come back, we will be just thrilled and will welcome her.''