Woman reported missing from Poplar Bluff arrested in Florida bank heist

Friday, June 6, 2008

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- When Butler County authorities began looking into a missing-person report earlier this week, they found the Poplar Bluff woman they were looking for in a Florida jail charged with bank robbery.

Butler County Sheriff Mark Dobbs said a concerned family member came into the sheriff's department Monday afternoon asking deputies to try to track down Donna Sue Bynum, 40, of the 7600 block of Route AA.

"She hadn't been seen since Memorial Day," and family members were concerned about her well being, Dobbs said. "After that [report], we began following several leads and received information that she could possibly be involved in a bank robbery in Orange County, Fla., which is Orlando."

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Bynum, armed with a pump shotgun and making jokes about President Bush, allegedly entered a Bank of America near SeaWorld Orlando about 5 p.m. Friday.

Once inside, Bynum told a teller, "This is a stickup," the Florida newspaper reported.

About 15 people were inside the bank at the time, including some in an unlocked bank vault.

The Orlando Sentinel reported Orange County deputies responded to the bank, as did a hostage negotiator and SWAT team members.

At 5:39 p.m., Bynum reportedly asked for someone to open the front door of the bank. She subsequently exited the bank and was arrested.

Florida investigators believe Bynum acted alone. The shotgun reportedly was loaded with at least one shell.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Bynum was taken to a hospital for observation. She was booked into the Orange County Jail on suspicion of attempted robbery with a firearm, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and false imprisonment.

After a Saturday court appearance, Bynum's bond reportedly was set at $6,900.

While Florida authorities report Bynum as being from Irving, Texas, Dobbs said she has "roamed around a bit. She established residency in Texas, but is actually from here."

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