A woman accused of being kidnapped in St. Landry Parish last week made up the story, according to Sheriff Bobby J. Guidroz.
According to reports, on August 1, 2018, the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office received a call stating that Candice Collier, 37, of Irvington, Alabama, reported that she and David Atkins, 36, of New Orleans, were living in Alabama when Atkins stole a truck and used a gun to forcibly kidnap her. Collier told deputies that she was held hostage for weeks in the woods throughout Louisiana ending up near Krotz Springs and she had been sexually assaulted by Atkins who was still in the woods, stated Major Eddie Thibodeaux, spokesperson for the St. Landry Sheriff’s Office. Detectives then had Collier transported to a local hospital for treatment.
The sheriff’s office received a second call from an unknown male armed with a gun on his mother’s property, stated Thibodeaux. The caller said a trespasser raised a gun towards him and fired at him. The caller shot back at the suspect grazing the suspect in the head. Detectives arrived and began their investigation and quickly connected the two complaints together, according to investigators. Atkins was also transported to an area hospital where detectives interviewed him. Both Atkins and Collier gave conflicting stories to the detectives, Thibodeaux reported.
After leaving Alabama, Atkins and Collier broke into camps from Butte La Rose to Krotz Springs, stated Thibodeaux. The truck they were traveling in then ran out of gas and they jumped on a freight train heading toward Livonia, according to investigators. Union Pacific Railroad Police along with deputies with the Iberville Sheriff’s Office located Atkins and Collier and interviewed them separately. At no time did Collier tell the officers that she was kidnapped, instead told the officers that they were a couple, stated Thibodeaux. The two were released then later arrived in St. Landry Parish where they stayed in the woods near Krotz Springs which eventually led to the false complaint and their arrest, according to investigators. When detectives confronted Collier with evidence she admitted to falsifying the entire story stating she made up the stories because Atkins broke into numerous camps and she did not want to go to jail for burglary, according to deputies.
Collier was arrested then booked at the parish jail on charges of felony false swearing for purpose of violating public health or safety. After Atkins was released from the hospital late Friday night, he was booked for attempted second-degree murder. Detectives expect additional charges on the two after more evidence from the burglaries is found.
“Our detectives used good old fashioned boots on the ground investigation techniques and with the assistance of the citizen protecting his property the case was solved quickly,” said Sheriff Guidroz. “The camp and home burglaries are still under investigation. Everyone needs to look on their property to see if they were broken into and call St. Landry Crime Stoppers at 948-TIPS (8477) with any information you have.”