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Crime & Courts

Abducted Lincoln woman found safe near Imperial; search for estranged husband continues

A Lincoln hair salon worker who was allegedly abducted by her armed, estranged husband emerged safe Sunday evening from a field near the southwestern Nebraska city her parents live.

Julie Hanes, 38, could be seen walking and talking to people at the search staging area where she was taken before being transported to a hospital, The Imperial Republican reported ( ).

Authorities were still searching for Hanes' estranged husband, 37-year-old Dwayne Lawrence, who allegedly abducted her around noon on Saturday from the salon where she works. A police helicopter could be seen hovering over the fields in the area about two miles northwest of Imperial where Hanes was recovered.

An Imperial police officer spotted Lawrence's gold 1998 Chrysler Concorde before dawn on Sunday, but it sped off and later was found abandoned outside of the city. A motorist reported seeing the couple walking along a road in the area, the newspaper reported.

Authorities began searching an eight-square-mile area west of the city where they believed the couple to be, now on-foot.

Hanes' parents and several of her other family members live in Imperial, which is not far from Nebraska's borders with Colorado and Kansas.

Court records show that Hanes filed for divorce July 30, which was about two weeks after she got a protection order against Lawrence. She told a judge that Lawrence had threatened her several times, and he faces several charges related to a July 8 incident.

Hanes told police that Lawrence fired a gunshot into their bedroom wall and threatened to kill himself in front of her in the hope that she would take her own life.

Hanes said in order to get him to lower the gun that night, she told her husband she would stay with him. They have been married since 2001.

Lawrence has already been charged with false imprisonment, making threats and using a weapon to commit crimes. When he posted $25,000 bond on July 16, he was ordered to stay away from Hanes and any firearms.

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