Woman shoots self defending against rest area attack

Friday , June 29, 2012 - 6:39 AM

Joel Mills

MOSCOW, Idaho -- The 28-year-old woman wounded by her own handgun during an alleged attack at a highway rest area has recovered and moved from the area, according to officials.

Kayla Sedlacek, formerly of Princeton, suffered a single gunshot wound to the abdomen early on the morning of April 2. Sedlacek told police a masked man attacked her in the women’s bathroom at the Mineral Mountain rest area on U.S. Highway 95 north of Princeton, and her .38-caliber pistol discharged during the struggle.

The alleged assailant, a white male, was never found. Pullman police investigated the possibility that he was the same man Sedlacek had previously reported as a stalker, but that investigation is now closed, according to Sgt. Dan Hargraves.

"The whole thing with the stalking, we haven’t been able to identify anybody or anything of that nature," Hargraves said. "And she’s moved out of the area, so our investigation is done."

Sedlacek told investigators she believed the attacker and the stalker were the same person. He wore a black or blue ski mask, a white shirt and dark pants during the attack, according to her statement to police.

Chief Deputy Brian Strampher with the Latah County Sheriff’s Office said the investigation into the shooting is ongoing, but no new evidence has been uncovered. He said there is no timeframe for detectives to conclude their work on the case.

The incident occurred as Sedlacek stopped to use the restroom on her way home from a trip, according to investigators. At the time, she lived about 15 miles from the rest area.

Sedlacek was able to walk from the bathroom to the nearby residence of the rest area caretakers, who gave her first aid and called for help. She was hospitalized in Gritman Medical Center in Moscow for several days after the shooting, but her injury was never characterized as life-threatening.



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)2012 the Lewiston Tribune (Lewiston, Idaho)

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