Evidence in the kidnapping Schanda Handley

CBS News

As soon as Schanda Handley When she was rescued, she said that she believed her estranged spouse was responsible for her kidnapping. See the evidence that convinced investigators he is responsible.

Schanda Handley was visiting her Lafayette, Louisiana home with her daughter on August 6, 2017 when two men knocked at her door. They appeared to be making delivery, but instead they forced their way in with guns. Schanda tried negotiating with the intruders by offering valuables and cash but they were not interested. The men grabbed Schanda and put her in a van before driving off.

Isabella Schanda, Schanda’s daughter

CBS News

The kidnappers attempted to take Schanda’s 14 year-old daughter Isabella along with them, but she refused to go. Isabella watched helplessly as her mom was taken away by the kidnappers.

It was a terrifying ride

15th Judicial District Attorney’s Office

While one kidnapper drove Schanda, the other sat down on Schanda, stripped her, and put pills in her mouth. Schanda claims she began praying.

“And it was like, “God! I’m gonna believe that this is going to go down the way it’s supposed. It might not be great, but it’s something I trust, Schanda stated to “48 Hours.”

Chad Martin, an off-duty sheriff’s deputy, saw the van driving erratically at one point. He tried to pull the van onto the shoulder, but the driver sped away.

Dead end

CBS News

The van was pulled onto a dirt road that runs close to Lafayette, where it got stuck in the mud. They abandoned the van — with Schanda in it — and ran.

Chad Martin, Deputy

CBS News

Deputy Martin, Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office, approached the van and found Schanda naked in her back.

“She looked at my face and said, “Are we the real police?” Or are you the one who’s going to kill me? Martin said “48 Hours.”

Michael Handley

Lafayette Daily Advertiser-USA Today Network

Schanda, who was being rescued from where the kidnappers left, told police that she believed her estranged spouse. Michael HandleyThe kidnapping was committed by.

Investigators discovered that Schanda had called police multiple times in the months before the kidnapping to complain about Michael’s behavior. She also obtained a restraining or. 

Evidence in the case

15th Judicial District Attorney’s Office

Authorities discovered evidence that indicated Michael Handley was the mastermind behind kidnapping during their investigation.

This surveillance footage shows Handley purchasing handcuffs from an officer supply store three days prior to Schanda’s kidnapping.

The handcuffs

15th Judicial District Attorney’s Office

Authorities confirmed that the handcuffs Michael Handley bought were the same ones used for Schanda’s restraint.

The van rented

15th Judicial District Attorney’s Office

Investigators also discovered that Michael had rented a van from Enterprise Rent-A-Car in Baton Rouge the day prior to the kidnapping.

Detectives knew they had enough evidence to arrest Michael Handley for Schanda’s kidnapping — but first, they had to find him.

The arrest

15th Judicial District Attorney’s Office

After a four-day manhunt detectives arrested Michael Handley at a Slidell Super 8 motel.

The motel room

15th Judicial District Attorney’s Office

Detectives discovered illegal drugs, almost $10,000 in cash, as well as burner phones, in the motel room. 

Michael’s list of things to do

15th Judicial District Attorney’s Office

Investigators also found this to-do-list in the motel room. On it were items such as “burner phone,” “hair dye,” “new location,” “cash,” “train” and “contacts/sunglasses.” 

Investigators believed that Michael intended to murder Schanda because of the last item on the list, “finish work.” 

Tape capture

15th Judicial District Attorney’s Office

Schanda discovered more evidence after Michael was arrested. She was cleaning out a Mississippi property that they had. She found Arlo, a camera that Michael had previously used as security. 

Michael had unwittingly recorded his self in a hotel room using a camera on June 4, 2017. He can be heard talking to himself saying, “kill her … kill her.” Investigators believe that he was referring to his intent to kill Schanda.

“She’ll have the last laugh”

15th Judicial District Attorney’s Office

In a June 10, 2017 video, Michael talks about Schanda and Schanda’s relationship with a friend. Investigators believe he can be heard saying, “That’s why her’ll have to death.” Later, the friend said that he didn’t remember Michael saying this.

The plea

Claudia B. Laws – USA Today Network

Michael Handley pleaded guilty for second-degree kidnapping. He was sentenced to 35 year imprisonment

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