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Marine held after kidnapping, killing of Wal-Mart cashier

Body found after abduction caught on tape in Texas


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Megan Leann Holden was a cashier at a Texas Wal-Mart.
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Suspect arrested in abduction caught on tape.
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TYLER, Texas (CNN) -- A Marine who served in Iraq was arrested Friday in connection with the kidnapping and killing of a Wal-Mart cashier snatched from a parking lot in Texas while leaving work.

Police said a man forced 19-year-old Megan Leann Holden into her truck late Wednesday as she was leaving work in Tyler, Texas, and drove off with her.

She was found Friday shot to death in a ditch off of Interstate 20 near Stanton, Texas, about 400 miles west of where she was taken, said Tyler Police Chief Gary Swindle.

The suspected kidnapper, Johnny Williams, was arrested Friday at a hospital in Willcox, Arizona, where he was being treated for gunshot wounds.

A hospital official said the wounds were light. Swindle said Williams was taken away after being treated.

Authorities also said Williams is a suspect in an armed robbery at a convenience store in Odessa, Texas, about 40 miles west of where Holden's body was found. Willcox is about 560 miles farther west.

The U.S. Marine Corps said Williams was on leave, awaiting disciplinary action for using marijuana in February 2004.

He was a logistics clerk who was last assigned to the 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, in Twentynine Palms, California.

He enlisted in 2001 and served in Iraq in 2003, the Marine Corps said. His outfit earned a Presidential Unit Citation for distinguishing itself in combat.

"Camp Pendleton Marines will fully cooperate with law enforcement officials as they proceed with their investigation of the incident," a Marine Corps statement said.

Swindle said Williams, 24, lives in the Tyler area, in northeast Texas, but there is no indication he knew Holden.

Holden's kidnapping close to midnight Wednesday was captured on surveillance video.

A black male could be seen loitering in the parking lot for more than two hours, at times following women before backing away, and then grabbing Williams and forcing her into her red truck.

"We believe he was looking for a ride," Swindle told reporters at a news conference.

At one point before the abduction, a security guard spoke with the man. He also entered the Wal-Mart, ostensibly to use the restroom.

When Holden did not get home by 3 a.m. her sister called her mother, who contacted police.

Authorities looked at the tapes and spoke with those who had seen the man, and began a ground and aerial search for the vehicle.

A police officer in Willcox saw Williams drive the truck up to Northern Cochise Community Hospital on Friday morning, throw the keys in the truck and enter the hospital.

Authorities later found a handgun in the vehicle, as well as a bag that the man in the surveillance video appeared to be holding.

Swindle said preliminary reports suggested Williams was shot in the shoulder as he tried to rob a mobile home park in Bowie, Arizona.

He said Holden appeared to have been shot in the ditch where she was left.

Police said two oil workers in Stanton discovered the body at 8:43 a.m. and alerted authorities.

An FBI source said the bureau office in Phoenix, Arizona, was assisting local authorities in the investigation, which included searching Holden's truck for evidence.

Williams could face charges of murder, kidnapping and unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, the FBI source said.

The private organization Crimestoppers offered a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to Holden or her abductor.

CNN's Ed Lavandera and Mike Brooks contributed to this report.


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