Store clerk recalls moment Citrus County kidnapping victim escaped; suspect still on the run

Hillsborough County

CITRUS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – 3:33 p.m. is the time Rachel Craddock can’t get out of her head. That was the time she saw the woman beating on the window of the convenience store where she works.

“And she was banging on my window saying, help me, help me, help me,” said Craddock. “He’s going to kill me. He’s going to kill me. He’s running out right now “

Craddock is a clerk at the Citgo gas station on Main Street in Inverness. Hillsborough sheriff’s detectives say 32-year old Cody Lee Jackson beat the victim, tied that victim up, and then drove to Citrus County.

The sheriff’s office won’t say whether the victim is a man or a woman citing Marsy’s law, but Craddock says it was a woman.

Cody Lee Jackson, mug shot from a 2020 arrest

She says she could see the woman was injured and needed help right away.

“She had a gouge here. She had blood, matted in her hair, she had leaves all in her hair,” said Craddock. “She had extension cords on her arms, but one was hanging because that’s how she got undone. It was hanging from her arm.”

Craddock explains Jackson was in the store when the woman broke free.

“The man from across the street at the funeral home, he came in the store. I’m not sure if he spooked him or her escaping from the car got him to start running out the door,” said Craddock, who immediately ran to the woman’s aid. “So I unlocked my door real quick and pulled her inside and locked it back and then we ran to the other door and locked it and he was locked out and after he seen he was not getting back in to her he took off from pump one and towards Citrus Memorial. “

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is investigating because the ordeal began at a home in Seffner.

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister had this to say:

“This man’s actions are reprehensible. He was threatening this victim’s life and it could have ended in tragedy had the victim not managed to escape just in time,” said Sheriff Chronister. “This attack was targeted. However, given Jackson’s violent behavior, we are urging anyone who comes in contact with him to please call us immediately. Please do not engage with the suspect, for he may be armed with a weapon.”

Anyone with information on Jackson’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office at (813) 247-8200

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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