BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) – A man in custody at a Baton Rouge hospital reportedly committed suicide after being accused of abducting a pregnant woman.
Officials with the Baton Rouge Police Department confirm that the incident happened early Saturday morning at the Baton Rouge General Hospital on Bluebonnet. The alleged abduction happened sometime before midnight in New Orleans.
Investigators say a 28-year-old pregnant woman claims she was abducted from New Orleans at gunpoint and was driven by her abductor to Baton Rouge. At some point she says she convinced the man to take her to the hospital because of issues with her pregnancy. That’s when police say she told hospital staff that she had been kidnapped.
Hospital security say they confronted the man and placed him in custody for questioning. While in custody, he reportedly pulled out a gun and shot himself.
The New Orleans Police Department identified the suspect as 29-year-old Gary Zarders. They believe that he was also involved in an attempted kidnapping earlier Friday night.
According to the NOPD, they received a call just after 10:30 p.m. a female victim who told police that she picked Zarders up at a home in the 2600 block of Vienna Street to take him to the airport. While in the vehicle, the victim says that Zarders pulled a gun and attempted to kidnap her. She was able to escape to a home in the 6000 block of Baccich Street.
New Orleans police say Zarders fled the scene in the victim’s tan 2002 Saturn Vue SUV.
Just before 6 a.m. Saturday morning, they received a call related to a kidnapping in the 5000 block of Wilton Drive.
Although the incident is currently under investigation, detectives believe that Zarders kidnapped the pregnant victim from that address and brought her to Baton Rouge.