Rainier man charged with kidnapping ex-girlfriend
A Rainier man faces a federal indictment on a charge of kidnapping.
U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams announced Friday, June 19, that James Donald Cooley, 59, has been charged with kidnapping his ex-girlfriend and transporting her from her home in Ilwaco, Washington, to Rainier.
According to court documents, in the early morning hours of May 18, 2020, Cooley allegedly traveled from his home in Rainier to his ex-girlfriend's home in Ilwaco.
Cooley was indicted on similar charges for the same incident last month in Oregon circuit court. Those charges were dropped on June 19 because federal charges were filed.
When Cooley traveled to Ilwaco, court documents state, he parked his vehicle on the side of the highway near her home before approaching her outside her home. He grabbed her, tied her hands together with zip ties and dragged her to his vehicle, put a knife to her throat, shoved her into the back seat and drove back to Rainier.
When Cooley arrived at his residence, his sister — who also lives in Rainier — spotted Cooley's ex-girlfriend at his residence. Cooley's sister observed the woman was wearing only a robe and no shoes, and appeared to have injuries. The woman mouthed the words "get me help" to Cooley's sister, court documents state. Cooley's sister contacted the Columbia County Sheriff's Office and reported the incident. Sheriff's deputies responded and later arrested Cooley.
Cooley made his initial appearance in federal court Friday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Stacie F. Beckerman. Cooley was ordered detained pending further proceedings.
This case was investigated by the Columbia County Sheriff's Office and the FBI. It is being prosecuted by Gregory R. Nyhus, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon.
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