Feds detail kidnap case against Larry Raifsnider

Thursday, December 2nd 2004, 6:33 am
By: News On 6

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ An elderly kidnap victim was driven around for hours while his 80-year-old wife went to banks in two states trying to secure $100,000 in ransom money, federal prosecutors said in a criminal complaint Wednesday.

Larry L. Raifsnider, 39, was arrested by police and FBI agents Monday in Bartlesville, Okla., about eight hours after an intruder broke into the home of Betty and J.D. Crocker near Caney in southeast Kansas.

The kidnapper released J.D. Crocker, 78, unharmed in Bartlesville minutes before Raifsnider was arrested.

Raifsnider _ who has been sought since 2003 for a similar crime in northeast Arkansas _ admitted to police that he had kidnapped the Crockers and demanded ransom, U.S. Attorney Eric Melgren said in a news release.

Melgren filed a complaint charging Raifsnider with one count of kidnapping. He made his first appearance Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Karen Humphreys and remained held after waiving his right to a detention hearing.

Now identified as a resident of Flagstaff, Ariz., Raifsnider faces numerous charges in several states, according to the FBI in Kansas City, Mo.

According to the complaint, Larry Raifsnider entered the Crockers' home about 4 a.m. Monday and tied them up at gunpoint. He forced them to open two safes and then took the husband hostage, instructing Betty Crocker to obtain $100,000 and wait for him at a pay phone in the Kmart parking lot in Bartlesville.

Betty Crocker drove to Coffeyville and withdrew $45,000 from her bank account. She then drove about 20 miles into Oklahoma and tried to withdraw $50,000 from another account at a Bartlesville bank, according to the complaint.

Officials at that bank called Bartlesville police, who contacted the FBI.