Cops: Accused kidnapper threatened daughter — (The Times-Tribune)

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The Times-Tribune

BY NICHOLE DOBO, STAFF WRITER

09/27/2006

PLAINS TWP. ­ The 46-year-old man charged with kidnapping his daughter repeatedly threatened to kill the child before surrendering to police, according to court documents filed Tuesday.

William A. Betcher Jr., of Pittston Township, said he was going to kill the girl and put her “body in a box where no one would find her,” according to the police criminal complaint.

Mr. Betcher surrendered to police at his sister-in-law’s home Sunday in Mount Pocono after a five-hour standoff. The child was found in the home uninjured.

Police issued an Amber Alert on Saturday for the child, Cassidy Betcher, after her mother told police Mr. Betcher abducted the girl.

While on the run, Mr. Betcher repeatedly called the girl’s mother, Susan Gongora, saying he was going to kill the child and then commit suicide, according to court records. Police listened to these calls on a speakerphone.

Ms. Gongora told police Mr. Betcher is on medication for depression and anxiety issues and is “very unstable,” according to court records.

It was not immediately clear why Mr. Betcher allegedly kidnapped his daughter. Court records indicate that before the child went missing, Mr. Betcher had “snapped out again” at Ms. Gongora, who later told police she wanted a protection- from-abuse order.

Mr. Betcher was suicidal when he surrendered to police, saying “I want you cops to shoot and kill me,” according to court records. He was then taken to Wilkes-Barre General Hospital for an evaluation.

Mr. Betcher was arraigned Tuesday before Magisterial District Judge Diana Malast. He is charged with kidnapping, endangering the welfare of children and recklessly endangering another person.

He is being held in Luzerne County Correctional Facility in lieu of $125,000 bail.

Contact the writer: ndobo@citizensvoice.com