HELENA WEST HELENA, Ark. – – A teenage girl is trying to regain her sense of security after deputies say she was kidnapped, stabbed and left for dead.
17-year-old China Kirkland says the horrific chain of events started in West Helena, located in Phillips County, which borders Mississippi state line when a group of people she knows tracked her to a friend’s house and held her at gunpoint around 8:30 p.m. Thursday night.
“They had some marijuana and they thought I had set them up to get it stolen or they thought I stole it,” Kirkland said.
She says they bound and gagged her and put her in the trunk of a car.
“I was just laying in the trunk wondering, fearing for my life really,” she said.
Deputies say they drove her into the woods about 20 miles away in Tunica County, Mississippi near Jeffries and Dundee Road and threw her on the ground.
“I was trying to scream for my life but my mouth was duct-taped,” she said.
She says one of her abductors stabbed her more than a dozen times in her neck, stomach, back and shoulders. So, she played dead and he stopped.
“I think that was a very smart move on her end,” Tunica County Chief Deputy Persundra Jones said. “I’m so glad she decided to do that. I think that could be the only thing that saved her life.”
Deputies say Kirkland waited for them to leave then ran out to the road and flagged down a couple of drivers who stopped to help her and called 911. First responders flew her by helicopter to Regional Medical Center in Memphis.
“I thought I wasn’t going to make it because I was bleeding out,” she said. “I just look at it like it’s a second chance at life.”
Deputies arrested 29-year-old Tevin Randall and are currently investigating four persons of interest who are still on the streets tonight and Kirkland is scared.
“It worries me but I pray,” she said.
Her father William Kirkland is furious.
“They had my baby down there in that black forest,” he said. “They were kicking her, stabbing her. I want them punished. Period.”
The case is being handled by Tunica and Phillips County.
Randall is charged with kidnapping.
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