Suspects in Dillonvale kidnapping are jailed are

MARTINS FERRY — A dangerous situation ended with no injuries and the arrest of two individuals late Sunday.

According to Martins Ferry Police Chief John McFarland, a pair of juvenile females, ages 14 and 17, from the Dillonvale area received the scare of a lifetime after picking up a pair of hitchhikers. McFarland said the teens were driving through Dillonvale when they reportedly came across the male and female hitchhikers, who allegedly told the girls they needed to get to St. Clairsville. The driver said she told them she could only take them as far as Martins Ferry.

“When they arrived in the parking lot at the Martins Ferry McDonald’s, the the male hitchhiker reportedly asked if they could be dropped off at his uncle’s house and gave directions,” McFarland said. “While going north on back streets, they ended up in a dark, secluded alley. The male hitchhiker grabbed the driver by the neck and put a gun to her head, reportedly telling her to pull over.”

McFarland said the male hitchhiker then allegedly ordered the teens out of the car and put them both in the trunk. After the suspects drove around for a brief period of time, McFarland said the car stopped moving.

“After it was clear that the hitchhikers had left the area,” the chief said, “one of the teens used the emergency release button inside the trunk. Once out of the vehicle, the teens flagged down a passerby.”

Police say the suspects stole several items out of the vehicle, including the teenagers’ cell phones.

About an hour later, an officer from the Yorkville Police Department detained the suspects on the railroad tracks in a secluded area of the village near Picoma Road. It was later found that the male, Jordan Javaughn Baker, 23, of Indianapolis, allegedly dropped something in the grass. Reports state that item turned out to be a loaded .40-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun.

“Don’t ever, ever, ever pick up a hitchhiker,” McFarland warned. “Never.”

Police also arrested Tia Nicole Ashley Benson, 29, of Steubenville. Both suspects are charged with several felonies, including abduction, kidnapping and aggravated robbery. Both are lodged in the Belmont County Jail.

“We’re thankful that they (the teens) are safe and the suspects are in jail,” McFarland added.