A woman who had been kidnapped two days earlier was found Friday with multiple stab wounds inside an abandoned house in Louisiana -- and freed by family members in a daring operation, police said.
The man who allegedly held her hostage for 30 hours in a vacant home in Duson, La., was shot and killed by the woman's cousin as he rescued her, police said.
Authorities of the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office had been searching for Bethany Arceneaux, 29, since late Wednesday, after her car was found abandoned outside her child's day care center, Capt. Kip Judice told NBC News.
Judice said police believed Scott Thomas, 29, the father of Arceneaux's son, was the abductor. The two had domestic troubles, and Arceneaux had a restraining order against Thomas, Judice added.
The woman's family decided to look for Arceneaux themselves. On Friday, about 20 relatives formed a search party and began to search on foot, Judice said.
Arceneaux's cousin heard cries coming from an abandoned home in a sugar field about 10 miles from where the woman was last seen.
Armed with a gun, the man forced his way into the home. As the cousin made his way through the house, Thomas allegedly stabbed Arceneaux several times. The cousin then fired several shots at Thomas and then fled with Arceneaux, Judice said.
The woman confirmed to authorities that her cousin shot Thomas as Thomas was stabbing her.
Arceneaux is undergoing treatment at the Lafayette General Medical Center and is in good condition, Judice said.
Police found Thomas dead in the vacant home. He had allegedly held Arceneaux at knifepoint for 30 hours before she was rescued, Judice added.
Arceneaux's cousin is not in police custody and has not been charged with a crime. He is cooperating with authorities, Judice said.
Under Louisiana law, a justifiable homicide statute allows an individual to defend himself as well as others he feels are in danger, which includes great bodily harm or death, police said.