(KSLA) - Bruised and cut up, but now safe and on the mend.
A Keithville woman says her estranged husband tied her up and kidnapped her at knifepoint.
Patricia Beaird says she was taken Monday afternoon after agreeing to meet him in Shreveport to discuss finances.
She says 40 year old Thomas Ray Beaird climbed into her SUV, pulled out a knife, forced her into the back floorboard, tied her up then drove around for roughly 3 hours, all the while threatening to kill her and himself.
After a near escape at a red light on Bert Kouns Industrial Loop in southwest Shreveport, Patricia says they stopped at a convenience store off Interstate 20 in Greenwood.
"He had made me put sunglasses on and put my hair down to cover my neck," Patricia recalls.
And that's where she took a chance and quietly reached out for help from the man behind the counter.
"So when I went the other way around the condiment section, the gentleman behind the counter looked up at me. I lifted my glasses like this and I mouthed the words 'Help me, help me'."
James McLamb, co-owner of Outpost Travel Center, says he knew he needed to act quickly.
"It took me a second to register as they came out the door what my mind just saw," McLamb recalls.
"Whenever she raised her glasses, you could see trauma to her eyes."
McLamb says he followed the two outside and noticed Thomas Beaird had a knife sticking out of his front right pocket.
McLamb reports that when Thomas Beaird realized he had called police, he took off in the SUV, leaving his wife behind.
He ditched the vehicle not far away and ran into the woods.
Greenwood police officers and Caddo sheriff's deputies unsuccessfully searched for him.
Shreveport police tell us Thomas Beaird turned himself in Tuesday at 11:50am and was booked into the Shreveport City Jail on one court of second-degree kidnapping.
Wednesday afternoon, Patricia reunited with the man she says saved her life, James McLamb, a retired Caddo Parish sheriff's deputy of 18 years.
"Thank you so much," Patricia said while hugging McLamb outside the Outpost Travel Center.
"I wouldn't have made it through the day if you had ignored my signal that I needed help. You're my hero. You really saved my life."