Michael Handley Obituary, Death – “She looked at me,” Martin recounted. “She said, ‘Are you the real police? Are you the one that’s gonna kill me?'” Martin assured Handley that she was safe. A day later, her kidnappers’ remains were discovered in a waterway not far from where they had abandoned the van — having drowned as they attempted to escape. Even then, Handley believed that the mastermind behind the plot was still at large and a danger to her.
“She had said that she believed that her husband is the one that had paid them to kill her,” Martin recalls Handley telling him shortly after her rescue. “I was so excited,” Handley told David Begnaud, CBS News lead national correspondent and “48 Hours” contributor. “I was like, ‘Oh, my steamer.'” Her joy was transformed into terror, when instead of dropping off a package, the two men held Handley at gunpoint, handcuffed her and threw her into the back of a van. She recounted the details of her near-death experience to Begnaud in
Schanda Handley and her daughter Isabella Cumberland were at their home on a quiet street in Lafayette, Louisiana, on Aug. 6, 2017, when two men appeared at their front door. At first glance they looked like deliverymen, which was a welcome interruption, since Handley had been anxiously awaiting a clothes steamer she had ordered. “They hooded me as soon as I went into the van,” Handley said. “It was a van that didn’t have the windows in the back.”
Cumberland watched helplessly as the men sped off with her mother. “As they’re driving away with her, did you think that was the last time you’d ever see her?” Begnaud asked Cumberland.”I thought there was a chance,” Cumberland answered. Handley said one of the abductors was straddling her in the back of the van, forcing pills into her mouth, while the other erratically drove them out of town. She recounted beginning to lose consciousness, as she says the men threatened to sexually assault and then kill her.
And I started praying,” Handley recounted. Her prayers were answered when Deputy Chad Martin with the Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office — who had just clocked out of work and was unaware of Handley’s kidnapping nearly 60 miles away — spotted the van and attempted to make a traffic stop. The kidnappers exited the highway and tried to get away. After making a turn onto a dead-end road, they got stuck in the mud and continued to flee on foot. As Martin investigated the van, he discovered a barely conscious Handley in the back.