Man charged with kidnapping, strangulation

Allegedly kept a woman in a camper against her will for a week


ELKINS — A Philippi man has been arrested and accused of keeping a woman in a camper against her will for a week.

Thomas Michael Paugh Jr., 35, of Philippi, was charged with kidnapping, strangulation and malicious wounding, all felonies. Bond was set at $80,000 by Barbour County Magistrate Daniel J. Harris.

On Thursday, according to the criminal complaint prepared by Sgt. B.A. Miller of the Barbour County Sheriff’s Department, officers were called to Elk Creek Road after a woman called saying she was being held against her will. Upon the officers’ arrival, Paugh “saw officers pulling in his driveway and he walked quickly back to the camper and went inside … officers knocked loudly on the camper (and) yelled ‘sherrif’s department,'” the complaint states.

Paugh “remained in the camper for close to 10 minutes before sending the female out to the officers, and then (Paugh) exited shortly after,” according to the police report. The alleged victim had “visible bruising and two black eyes and marks around her neck.”

The alleged victim allegedly told Sheriff Brett Carpenter that “she had been in the camper for a week and she could not leave unless it was with (Paugh) and she had to return with him.” She also said “if she would try to leave (Paugh) would beat her and choke her” and he “took her vehicle keys and cell phone from her and would not let her leave or talk to anyone,” the report stated.

The alleged victim “was transported to the hospital for her injuries,” according to the complaint.


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