LAFOURCHE PARISH, LA (WVUE) - Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre said Friday that a man arrested for kidnapping has been released from jail after the victim and two witnesses recanted their statements to detectives.
Charges have been dropped against 21-year-old Kaleb Bruce Cut Off. He was released Friday. Meanwhile, 17-year-old David Nelson Jr. of Galliano and two juveniles now face charges for lying to detectives.
In the initial investigation, detectives learned that two male juveniles, ages 12 and 15, were walking along West 163rd Street in Galliano during the early morning hours of July 5, when Bruce pulled up alongside.According to their statements, the boys told detectives that Bruce grabbed the 12-year-old and placed him in the rear backseat of his vehicle. They said Bruce then placed a duffel bag over the boy's face and tied his hands together. The 12-year-old claimed he was able to escape after about 15 minutes. The boys ran to the home of Nelson, who corroborated the boys' statements about the incident.
Detectives then interviewed Bruce, who admitted to making contact with the juveniles, but denied the kidnapping. Based on statements and evidence, detectives established probable cause and arrested Bruce for Simple kidnapping. He was booked into the Lafourche Parish Detention Center in Thibodaux, and Judge F. Hugh Larose set his bond at $100,000.
Then on Thursday, July 9, detectives re-opened the investigation after obtaining information that the kidnapping story had been fabricated. Detectives made contact with the two boys, as well as Nelson, and all three admitted to their involvement in helping fabricate the kidnapping story. All three were booked with criminal mischief for filing a false police report. The 12-year-old was taken into custody and placed at the Lafourche Parish Juvenile Detention Center in Thibodaux. The 15-year-old was booked as a juvenile and released to the custody of his parents. Nelson was issued a criminal summons.
Charges for Bruce were dropped, and he was released from the Detention Center at around 5:30 p.m. Friday.