Man charged in kidnapping case nearly two decades after alleged crime

Cory Daniel Smith
Cory Daniel Smith

A former Wyoming man with a criminal past has been charged in connection with an alleged kidnapping that happened nearly two decades ago in the city.

Chisago County Attorney Janet Reiter said Cory Daniel Smith, 38, last known residence of Brainerd, was serving a 10-year prison sentence in North Dakota on another kidnapping charge and was scheduled to be released when an outstanding warrant on his record was identified in relation to the Wyoming case.

According to the Chisago County criminal complaint:

On Nov. 21, 1995, a woman came into the Wyoming Police Department to make a report. She told the police chief that as she was leaving from work at McDonald’s in Forest Lake around 12:30 p.m. that day, she was approached by Smith, a former coworker at McDonald’s.

He requested she give him a ride to the Hitching Post Motel, just north of Forest Lake on Highway 61. The woman agreed, and Smith got into her car.

As they neared the motel, Smith said he had made a mistake and to keep driving north.

The woman said when she neared the Wyoming Elementary School, she looked over and noticed Smith had pulled a gun from inside his coat. He demanded she drive him to the Twin Cities.

The woman reported that as she drove, she looked over at the gun, and it appeared to be made of plastic. It also had what she described as a “dolphin head where the sight should be” and red dots on the weapon.

She slowed the car and turned off the road. Smith grabbed the wheel and told her the weapon was loaded.

The woman told Smith to get out of the car, which he eventually did. She also told him she was going to report the incident to police.

Wyoming police searched for Smith in the area but were unable to locate him.

Police learned Smith had been living at the Wyoming Motel and questioned his roommate and the owner of the motel.

The owner said he had seen Smith hide something in the lobby on Nov. 20; upon searching the area, he found a CO2 BB gun.

The owner took the gun, but later returned it to Smith. He told police Smith had moved to the Twin Cities area.

Unconditional bail for Smith was set at $200,000. A conditional bail was set at $100,000. He is currently being housed in the Isanti County Jail, under the authority of the Chisago County Jail.

Smith’s first appearance at the Chisago County Courthouse for the kidnapping charges is at 8:30 a.m. July 1 before Judge Robert Rancort.

The charges carry a maximum of 10 years in prison and/or a $17,000 fine.


North Dakota conviction

According to an appellee brief filed May 13, 2005, in North Dakota Supreme Court in Fargo, Smith was involved in an incident that bears similarities to the alleged Wyoming kidnapping.

According to the court document:

On June 18, 2004, a woman attended the Red River Valley Fair in West Fargo and decided to call a cab to drive her home after having a few drinks.

The cab arrived, its driver Smith. She gave Smith the address to her apartment complex, but Smith drove by it, stopped and got out of the vehicle near the Red River.

Smith told her he wasn’t feeling well and asked the woman to feel his forehead. She did, and Smith then grabbed her by the neck and put his left hand between the door and the car seat.

A struggle ensued, with Smith brandishing a knife and telling the woman, “This is not what you think it is,” and if she kept struggling Smith would kill her.

Smith was also trying to restrain the woman’s hands with zip ties.

The woman was able to reach over and honk the horn, which, along with her screaming, drew the attention of a nearby resident who called police.

The woman continued to struggle with Smith, the two of them falling out of the car. The blade of the knife Smith was using got pinned under him and snapped.

At that point, an officer arrived, and Smith let go of the woman. The officer observed Smith and the woman on the ground, and the woman got up, ran toward the officer and shouted, “Help, me, help me. He tried to kill me. He has a knife.” The woman had a laceration on her face, and Smith had blood on his shirt. She also had a zip tie around one of her wrists.

When the officer asked Smith about the origin of the blood, he told the officer a knife had been involved in the incident.

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