Live

Watch CBSN Live

Girl: We Tried To Kill Our Captor

Two teenage girls abducted and raped by a fugitive ex-con tried to kill their kidnapper by stabbing him with a knife and hitting him on the head with a whisky bottle, one of the girls said in a television interview Friday.

"We got this plan we were gonna try to kill him," said the elder of the two, 17-year-old Jacqueline Marris in an interview with KABC-TV. The Los Angeles station said she wanted to give the interview and her parents consented.

Marris and a 16-year-old girl were rescued Thursday by Kern County sheriff's deputies who shot and killed the kidnapper, Roy Dean Ratliff, 37, after a manhunt led to a remote desert region more than 100 miles north of Los Angeles.

Marris said the plan was hatched during the 12-hour ordeal in which the victims were taken to rural hideaways with which the kidnapper was familiar.

"You could tell that he's done this before," she said.

Marris indicated they attacked while he slept.

"The plan was that there was a Bowie knife and it was in a holster. It was on the gear shifter and so we agreed that (the other girl) would reach over, I'd stab him with the knife and hit him with the whisky bottle and we like got enough courage, like, because you could see his pulse," she said.

"So I got the knife and I stabbed him in the throat and he woke up and he was like shocked and everything and she took the whisky bottle and he had these big glasses, they were like this thick, so without them we knew that he couldn't see anything without them you know. She hit him in the face with the whisky bottle right here on his eye," Marris said.

Marris said the kidnapper opened the car door.

"And so I kicked him out, we kicked him, we both kicked him out and I threw the knife at him," she said.

But the kidnapper regained control by using his gun, KABC reported.

The girls' names and pictures were widely distributed to the public as authorities searched for them. The Associated Press, which does not usually report names of sex assault victims, ceased reporting their names Friday because they had been raped. The AP resumed reporting the 17-year-old's name after she came forward in the interview. It is CBS News policy not to identify rape victims. However, since Marris came forward and has spoken to several news agencies, her name is being given.

Speaking outside her home, Marris she never thought such a thing could happen to her.

"And thank you everyone for all your prayers," she said. "They helped us. They helped us. God was listening."

The kidnapper was a fugitive ex-con with nothing to lose and would have killed and buried his victims if the deputies who fatally shot him hadn't arrived in time, Kern County Sheriff Carl Sparks told a Bakersfield news conference Friday.

"Those two girls are safe and I honestly believe they were probably 10 minutes away from being killed and buried out there somewhere in that ravine," Sparks said.

The investigation continued, but Sparks was certain of the kidnapper's intentions.

"He had already hurt the girls — wasn't anything else to do there," the sheriff said. "He went to a remote area that he should have known he was going to be trapped in. ... I think .... he recognized the helicopters and he said, 'I got to get rid of these girls.'

"He was a two-striker. He was going to prison for the rest of his life. He had nothing to lose. He needed to get rid of those girls."

The two girls were rescued and their kidnapper cornered and killed by deputies because the stolen truck he was driving was spotted off a rural road by Animal Control officer Bonnie Hernandez, CBS News correspondent Jerry Bowen reports.

She was the last link in California's barely week-old Amber Alert System, a network of law enforcement agencies, media outlets and 500 digital highway message boards up and down the state designed to quickly notify the public of child abductions.

Amber stands for America's Missing Broadcast Emergency Response, a program started in Texas after the 1996 kidnapping and murder of a nine year old girl Amber Hagerman.

Said L.A. County Sheriff's Chief Michael Solderbergh: "It worked just the way it is supposed to work and we are overjoyed. I think we can say all the planets were in alignment."

Solderbergh says he believes the two girls were just minutes away from being killed by their abductor when sheriff's deputies shot and killed Ratliff on a desolate stretch of road.

The shooting ended a drama that transfixed the nation. The girls were kidnapped at 1 a.m. Thursday from a lovers' lane in the Mojave Desert town of Quartz Hill near Lancaster. Ratliff left their male companions bound.

A vast manhunt culminating in a key sighting of the kidnapper's stolen Ford Bronco by an animal control officer sent helicopters and deputies converging on a desolate area well off the nearest highway and about 100 miles from where the girls were kidnapped.

Ratliff was shot dead after pointing a gun at one of two deputies who were first to reach the scene, authorities said. The deputies fired 17 shots in all. Ratliff had two handguns but it was not immediately known whether he fired any shots.

Ratliff was wanted on a warrant charging five counts of sexual assault in October 2001. Under California's "three-strikes" law, he had faced life in prison if convicted. He had spent the last 13 years in and out of prison for burglary or possessing a controlled substance. He was paroled in July 2001, when he disappeared.

The girls were in the back of the kidnapper's vehicle when the deputies closed in but they were not visible until after the shooting started, Sparks said.

Sparks barely contained his emotions as he talked about one deputy's split-second decision to shoot the suspect when he pointed a gun at a second deputy.

"When a suspect points a gun at your partner, if there's any way possible you're going to protect him," Sparks said.

The case was being investigated by authorities in Los Angeles County, where the girls were abducted, and Kern County, where the kidnapping ended.

Los Angeles County sheriff's Capt. Soderberg cautioned that because the suspect was dead investigators could not know for certain what Ratliff intended to do.

But, citing his experience, he said that "if somebody does what he did, and he was a fugitive to begin with, and he was up in that remote area ... it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this out."

Sparks also offered an apology for revealing that the girls were raped. State Attorney General Bill Lockyer, citing the sheriff, first revealed the rapes on CNN's "Larry King Live" show Thursday night, and Sparks confirmed that later in the program.

By then the girls' identities were nationally publicized, and the revelation drew some criticism. Sparks said he had heard that one girl's grandmother was offended.

"If I've offended the girls and the family I apologize for that," Sparks told reporters.

Sparks said he gave the information to show "the frame of mind of the suspect.

View CBS News In