AUBURN - A kidnapping that stretched across three counties and left eight children in a stranger's home began when a Gwinnett County woman thought there were devils in her car and ended when Barrow County authorities arrested her boyfriend.
Gwinnett Police were called to a domestic dispute at the Old Loganville Road home of Judith Carper Sunday night, Snellville Police Chief Roy Whitehead said, but Carper and boyfriend Suad Dalipagic had stopped fighting by the time they arrived.
Police told the couple, who were standing in the yard, to go back inside the house. Shortly thereafter, the pair got in the car with their children - he has six, she has two - and drove to Snellville, police said.
Both Carper and Dalipagic were apparently on methamphetamine, Whitehead said, and believed there were demons in the car and in the children. According to a police report, Dalipagic was trying to get rid of the demons in the children when he let Carper out on Ga. Highway 78 in her nightgown. It is unclear if Carper was forced out of the car or left it voluntarily.
"She's walking down Main Street in her nightgown," Whitehead said. "If they'd just drove on out of the city with her, we wouldn't be involved with that."
Carper was transported to Emory Eastside Medical Center, Whitehead said, and remains in psychiatric custody. When she was found, shortly after midnight Monday, police tried to issue an Amber Alert for Carper's missing children but were unable to because the Georgia Bureau of Investigation thought she and Dalipagic were married.
Instead, they put out a "be on the lookout" for the white SUV Dalipagic was driving. The eight children in the vehicle ranged in age from 2 to 12.
"He's seeing demons, she's seeing demons, we felt the kids needed to be protected," Whitehead said.
Whitehead said Dalipagic then went to Bogart, where he showed up at the home of Gail Vanderploeg in boxer shorts and a T-shirt. He allegedly left the eight children at Vanderploeg's home and forced her into the car by grabbing her hair. Dalipagic worked for Vanderploeg's husband, Whitehead said.
"He kidnapped the wife of his boss," he said. "They rode around, and he was talking incoherently."
A phone listing for Vanderploeg had been disconnected. Athens-Clarke Police did not return several phone calls seeking more information about the events in Bogart.
Chief Deputy Murray Kogod, spokesman for the Barrow County Sheriff's Office, said Vanderploeg was driving Dalipagic's white Dodge Durango toward Auburn when they stopped at a cellular phone store for Vanderploeg to use the bathroom. A woman who identified herself as Missy said the pair had come into the Communications Plus on Atlanta Highway, where Vanderploeg left a note saying she had been kidnapped and needed help.
Kogod said Vanderploeg left the note on a counter, prompting an employee to call 911.
When the car was being chased by police about 6:30 p.m. Monday, Kogod said, Dalipagic instructed Vanderploeg to drive faster and avoid them.
"He instructed her to speed up and not stop for police," Kogod said. "We had her boxed in."
Dalipagic was caught inside Auburn's city limits.
Dalipagic is being held in the Barrow County Jail on one count of kidnapping and one count of false imprisonment. He also faces two kidnapping charges in Gwinnett County.
Whitehead said the eight children are staying at Vanderploeg's home until their relatives can be determined. The father of Carper's two children, who had been involved in a custody dispute with his ex-wife, flew in from California to be with his kids, Whitehead said.