Wife remains missing in Wis. abduction case

Sunday, February 1, 2004

WIND LAKE, Wis. -- Hours after a woman called 911 saying her ex-husband had tied her up and put her in the back of his truck, police Saturday found the man and their two young daughters, but not his former wife.

The ex-husband had been seen towing the woman's car, which later turned up in Milwaukee, sheriff's officials said.

Between the calls to authorities and the divorced couple's history of police intervention, Racine County Sheriff Bob Carlson said, "it doesn't give us a safe feeling."

David M. Larsen, 39, was arrested without incident in Wheeling, Ill., about 20 miles south of the state line, where he worked as an air traffic controller, Racine County sheriff's officials said.

Teri Jendusa-Nickolai, 38, and Saturday from his Wind Lake residence, according to the Racine County Sheriff's Department.

Sheriff Bob Carlson announced that Larsen was apprehended in Wheeling, Ill., at 5:50 p.m. and taken into custody without incident, but the others were not with him.

The sheriff's department reported Saturday night that Amanda Larsen, 6, and Holly Larsen, 4, were found safe in Elmwood Park, Ill., after being dropped off with a babysitter there by Larsen.

Larsen's ex-wife, Teri Jendusa-Nickolai, 38, had not been found.

Sheriff's Lt. Connie Mallwitz said authorities got a 911 call from a cell phone Saturday morning from a woman at Larsen's home in Wind Lake saying she was having trouble breathing, but rescuers found no one when they arrived.

Mallwitz said Jendusa-Nickolai, also of Wind Lake, later called her current husband from her cell phone and told him Larsen had abducted her.

The last contact with her was when the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department got another 911 call from her cell, Mallwitz said. She told them her hands were bound, she was in the back of Larsen's truck and she didn't know where she was.

Carlson said a neighbor reported seeing Larsen's truck towing a trailer with his ex-wife's car as he drove from his home. The car was later found in Milwaukee, Mallwitz said.

Larsen was held on an initial charge of false imprisonment in Wheeling, where he works as an air traffic controller, Carlson said. Investigators were in Wheeling Saturday night to question Larsen.

Mallwitz said Jendusa-Nickolai had a valid restraining order against Larsen, issued Jan. 22, for domestic abuse, and the two were in court last week for a child custody hearing. She said Jendusa-Nickolai had gone to Larsen's home to pick up the children after a visit.

Wheeling police referred all questions to Racine County authorities.

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