A grandmother who entered a bank in Fayetteville, Ark., and said she had a bomb strapped to her ankle was forced into a robbery attempt by a man holding her and her husband hostage, she told police.
Betty Davis, 73, walked into the local Arvest Bank around 10:30 a.m. Monday and told employees she had an explosive device strapped around her ankle. The bank’s employees called 911 and safely evacuated the building while Davis remained inside.
Local authorities and officials with the Bentonville Bomb Squad arrived soon after and removed the device from Davis’ leg.
It was then that Davis told the cops her story, that she and her husband, Dean Davis, had been held hostage by a man in their home. The man, Davis said, restrained her husband, took a weapon from their home and then forced her to go to the bank also to withdraw funds, all while her husband remained tied up at home.
Sheriff’s officials traveled to the couple’s home where they found Dean Davis tied up, as his wife said, but unharmed. There was no sign of the alleged intruder, but the couple’s pickup truck was missing.
ABC local news affiliate 40/29tv reported Monday evening that sheriff’s deputies had found a matching truck abandoned in a nearby park.
Police are now canvassing the neighborhood for any signs of the suspect.
Authorities are now also testing the bomb, for which the man told the couple he had a detonator, to see if it was really active when strapped to Davis.
Authorities say the couple are not being treated as suspects, have been cooperative in the investigation and did not show any signs of deception in telling police their story. “The evidence we have supports the witness statements so far,” Washington County sheriff’s Lt. Emily Augustine said.
Dean and Betty Davis are described by relatives as being in good spirits, while their family remains worried the intruder might return.
“I don’t feel like they’re safe because he could come back and everything,” the couple’s grandson, Billy Davis, told 40/29tv. “And you don’t know what he’s going to do.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.