The Missouri State Highway Patrol is honoring a trooper who prevented a suspected kidnapping in Taney County during the summer.
Trooper Zachary T. Costley was honored as the “Sworn Team Member of the Month” according to a press release from the MSHP. Costley was praised for “the thoroughness of his investigative work following a traffic stop, which likely prevented an attempted kidnapping.”
Costley noticed a vehicle with a registration violation while on patrol Aug. 8, and pulled the vehicle over on Highway 65 in Taney County. The driver refused to identify themself to the trooper, so he called for backup. Costley then told the driver they were under arrest, which led to a confrontation between the driver and Costley and the other officers.
All three officers were needed to place the man in handcuffs. They searched him and found items which could be used in a kidnapping or an assault.
A search warrant was granted to the officers for the vehicle. The officers found between the driver and the vehicle duct tape, zip ties, a bat, and a stun gun.
An additional warrant was then received for the suspect’s cell phone. They found evidence the driver and his wife were planning to kidnap their children from a foster home.
Investigators obtained security video from the foster home and found that the driver Costley detained had been conducting surveillance of the home.
The MSHP said that Costley’s actions “most likely prevented a serious violent crime from occurring.” Costley is part of Troop D, which covers southwest Missouri.