A multi-state manhunt is underway for a man accused of shooting at a state trooper and kidnapping a woman in northern Idaho.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Boise has charged Mitchell Lee Walck, 57, with first-degree kidnapping at the request of Kooteani County Proseuctor Barry McHugh, who emailed U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson Monday asking for assistance. The federal charge ensures Walck can be extradited back to Idaho from anywhere in the country.
The Salt Lake City office of the FBI is offering a $20,000 reward for tips that led to Walck's arrest.
A Coeur d'Alene police bulletin describes him as a sovereign citizen who doesn't respect government authority and has possible ties to the Aryan Nations, according to the Associated Press.
Walck is accused of kidnapping Susan Lee Smith, 62, from her home in Rathdrum Dec. 1 then leaving her at an Albertson's store in Glendive, Mont., the next day.
Walck first drove Smith to North Dakota and told her "he wanted to make sure he took her through as many states as possible to make that this became a federal crime," according to a 3-page affidavit by FBI Special Agent Edward Jacobson unsealed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Boise.
Walck recently completed a 10-year prison term for assault on a police officer in Montana.
He already had successfully fled a traffic stop in Kootenai County when an Idaho State Police trooper tried to stop him on Dec. 1. Walck fled that stop, too, but a Rathdrum police officer deployed a spike strop that deflated one of his car's tired. Walck abandoned the vehicle and fired a round at the trooper who was chasing him, Jacobson wrote. The trooper was not injured.
That afternoon, Smith was letting her cat out of her house in the 16000 block of Reservoir Road in Rathdrum when a man later identified as Walck forced her back into her home at gunpoint. He bathed, ate and dressed in clean clothes as he held Smith at gunpoint, according to the affidavit. Walck stole two rifles from the home and took them and Smith with him from Rathdrum to Interstate 90, which they took to Montana and into North Dakota.
Smith told investigators that Walck "made sure Smith memorized his name" and emphasized "that she should only speak to the FBI," according to the affidavit.
"Walck also told Smith that he would be traveling back to Western Montana to where he had a travel trailer hidden," Jacobson wrote. "Walck told Smith to wait for 45 minutes before contacting anyone."
Smith called her sister in Spokane Valley, Wash., who contacted the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department. Sheriff's officials arranged for the Glendive, Mont., police to pick up Smith at the store. She was not harmed during the ordeal.
Jacobson interviewed her by phone that night from Idaho.
The federal kidnapping charge carries a $1 million bond.