Fort Smith Man Saves Kidnapped Teen; FBI Investigates

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation has dropped a case involving a 16-year-old girl who claimed she’d been kidnapped and held against her will.

Investigators now say there were too many inconsistencies in the girl’s story and believe she may have initially willing gone with the person she was with, according to Fort Smith police.

Last week, the girl approached a Fort Smith man, begging for help. Leroy Farmer said the girl told him she had been kidnapped and held captive for two weeks. The 16-year-old girl approached him early last week around 2:45 p.m., coming from the Joan Apartment complex in north Fort Smith.

"No one’s ever walked up to me before and said they've been kidnapped and held against their will for two weeks,” Farmer said. “It’s mind blowing.”

Farmer said after the teen approached him, it was his instinct to place the teen in the back of his truck and drive her from any potential danger in the area.

"I had to stay calm because she was already frantic,” said Farmer. “She was the victim. If someone didn't stay calm and help her think through this process and get her somewhere safe, then I was going to be of no good to her."

Farmer said he was on his way to the Fort Smith Police Department when he saw an officer and turned the teen over to authorities.

Fort Smith police said the case has now been turned over to the FBI.

One woman who has lived in the area all her life said drugs and alcohol have taken over her neighborhood.

"It wasn't like this before, but it is now,” said a concerned neighbor. “There's drugs and prostitution, and that's not good for a neighborhood."

"She was very emphatic. You could see the terror in her eyes,” said Farmer. “It wasn't a joke; it wasn't make-believe she was very scared."

Farmer said he's not sure if he considers himself a hero, but is glad he was able to help the teen and is praying for her.