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Lakeland kidnapping victim speaks out | Crime

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Lakeland kidnapping victim speaks out

Lakeland, Florida -- The Lakeland woman who was kidnapped by her former boyfriend this week is speaking out since her ordeal and has advice for other women out there.

Talk about terrifying. For hours, Elizabeth Hamilton sat in a car next to a man who'd told her at one time that he loved her, and was now threatening to kill her.

In the end, he let her go.

But for several terrifying hours, Hamilton says she wasn't sure that's how things would turn out.

"I guess I let fear get in the way a little bit, but I'm lucky to be alive," she said.

Hamilton is still in shock, but in a far better place than she was just a one day ago, she says.

"I'm recovering. I'm healing and I'm looking at it as though - well, this was just another step in the road - and it was a bad one," she said.

On the same day she was planning to head to court for a restraining order against her former boyfriend 28-year-old Brett Curtis, Elizabeth was kidnapped.

Curtis grabbed her as she left her job at the Lakeland Square Mall.

He then led police on a high-speed chase along I-95.

In a chilling 911 call, he urged cops to back off. Speaking calmly at times then bursting into a rage and firing gunshots.

"Get off my *** NOW!" he can be heard yelling to a dispatcher.

"I talked to him three or four times prior to his death," said Joe Hamilton, Elizabeth's father.

Joe Hamilton was on the cell phone with Curtis at times during the chase as well, and was worried, it might be the last time he'd hear his 26-year-old daughter alive.

But Joe Hamilton said Curtis made him a promise over the phone.

"That he had no intention of hurting her. He was gonna go plant his daddy's ashes in the sand. He was gonna let her get home. And then he was gonna go be with his daddy," said Joe.

When lawmen used stop sticks to end the chase, Curtis kept his word.

He told Elizabeth to get out of the car, and then took his own life.

Now, Elizabeth wants others who may be in a controlling relationship to learn from her ordeal. Not to keep quiet about it. Not to be ashamed to tell someone about it.

"Don't give into fear. Because they're going to try to scare you," she said, "They're going to try and get you to back down. Don't back down."

Elizabeth described Curtis as beyond jealous. Unwilling to let go of their relationship which she tried to end about five months ago.

She says he had never harmed her physically, but she wanted the restraining order because she believed he was capable of violence.

Unfortunately, she says, she was right.


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