EARLY, IA – The more details that surface in this case, the more chilling it becomes. Police say 21-year old Kirk Levin, was released from prison after a four year stint for burglary, 36 hours later he kidnapped a young woman and planned to sexually assault her. When officers went to Levin’s home, they found his mother’s body.
The ordeal began early Thursday morning when Levin told an acquaintance in Storm Lake that his car had broken down and he needed a ride to his farmhouse in Early.
“Once she was there, he coaxed her into the barn by saying I gotta show you something then said I’m going to kidnap you, tied her up with a rope, then tied her up with a rope ” says Sac County Sheriff Ken McClure. Police say Levin forced the 21-year old woman into a car and took off, just a few miles down the road the car apparently skidded into a ditch. Farmer Gary Schramm stopped to help, not realizing he was also probably saving a woman’s life.
She ran out of the car screaming for help. “She was scared. She didn’t want to be left alone with him. And I told her she was safe. Nobody was going to hurt her.” Schramm recalls, “I thought it was a joke at first. Then it became pretty real, real fast as he ran away and I knew that she had been in trouble, and something serious could have happened.”
Schramm called police as Levin ran off. “We got cars in the area and determined he ran from where the car went in the ditch down into a river bed and ran to the north.” McClure says, “We were able to follow his footprints and locate him about a mile and a half from highway 20 along a riverbed near a barn.”
Police went back to Levin’s farmhouse where they found the body of his mother, 45-year old Marilyn Schmidt. They say it’s a good thing Schramm came along when he did…otherwise, this chilling story could have had an even more terrifying end.
“The girl who was kidnapped is very lucky to be alive.” McClure says, “We truly believe he saved her life.”
Levin made his initial court appearance in Sac County court Friday morning. He is charged with assault with intent to commit sexual abuse, assault while participating in a felony, and third degree kidnapping.
Authorities have not yet determined if he has any involvement in his mother’s death. An autopsy will be performed on her body, but officials are calling the death suspicious in nature.
Kirk Levin is being held in the Sac County Jail.
The prosecutor in the case asked that Levin’s bond, which was originally set at $20,000, be raised to $500,000 because of his criminal history and his lack of ties to the community.
The judge has approved a bond increase to $200,000.