SEATTLE – A woman who leaped from a bridge into a chilly river wearing handcuffs as she worked as a police informant during an attempted drug bust was captured early Thursday, two days after vanishing.
Sandra I. Duffy, 43, was caught shortly after 1 a.m. at a house in Peshastin, nearly 20 miles from where she jumped Tuesday night into the Wenatchee River, Chelan County sheriff's Lt. Jerry Moore said.
Duffy had been arrested early Tuesday and agreed to work as an informant for the Columbia River Task Force. She told officers that a cocaine seller agreed to meet her at the Sleepy Hollow Bridge.
She walked onto the bridge with a coat draped over her hands to hide her handcuffs and, as six officers watched nearby, jumped 20 feet into the swift, 48-degree water and vanished.
"It turns out, that story that she was going to meet a seller was fabricated," Moore said. "The whole time she'd been utilizing her cell phone, which was given back to her to arrange the meet, and texting folks to help her escape."
Officials were aided in their search by callers who said they saw a blond woman walking barefoot in handcuffs through their orchards. One tip led to the discovery of Duffy hiding under a blanket in a house, Moore said.
She initially gave a false name but was identified, arrested and jailed for investigation of escape, obstructing justice and theft for getting out of the handcuffs. The sheriff's office said Thursday afternoon that she did not have a lawyer.
Sheriff's deputies are trying to determined who may have helped Duffy escape.