Warrensburg, Mo. (AP) - It's something no one would ever want to think about happening to them. But what a mother and her 7-year-old son encountered is putting other shoppers on high alert.
"Keep a hold of your kids, lock your cars, look under your cars and pay attention to what you're doing," said Shannon Box of Holden, MO.
The woman was leaving the Warrensburg, MO, Walmart Thursday about 8 p.m. with her 7-year-old son and, as they were getting into her car, two men, strangers, put them through an experience that's hard to even imagine.
The ordeal left the mother and child lying in a frozen field and walking half a mile to the nearest home for help. The next day, it left shoppers with a startling reminder.
"These people know what they're doing. They know how to do it and we've got to be more aware of what we're doing," Box said.
It's hard to say if awareness would have thwarted the attack that began at the Walmart.
Two men approached the family, one with a gun, and forced the 27-year-old mother to drive them to an ATM with her child in tow. After getting their money, they ordered the woman out of the driver's seat.
Charges claim 23-year-old Alan E. Briscoe put the woman in the passenger seat up front with him, and gave his 21-year-old accomplice, Kevin A. Ratte, the gun which Ratte kept pointed at the 7-year-old boy in the back seat of the woman's Grand Am.
The accused kidnappers then took the mother and child down a country road.
Police say along the way they threatened to rape the woman, then threatened to kill both her and her son. They eventually took the mother and child to a dead end and forced them to lie face down in a field, before driving off in her car.
Charging documents say both men admitted to their involvement. They each face seven felony charges that include kidnapping, child kidnapping, first-degree robbery, stealing a motor vehicle and sexual misconduct.